Brazilian Ministry of Culture is planning to sue Facebook on blocking the picture of an Indian woman from 1909 just because her breasts were exposed. The ministry claims that Facebook is illegally exposing its censorship standards on Brazil.
Brazil will sue Facebook for blocking picture of indigenous woman Reportedly, Brazilian Cultural Ministry isn’t happy with the way Facebook is imposing its censorship policy on Brazil and other countries. The ministry has announced its plans to file a lawsuit against the social network for disrespecting their national self-determination right.
The bone of contention between Facebook and Brazilian cultural ministry was a photograph of an indigenous couple from 1909. Facebook blocked this picture because in the picture, the female appeared bare breasted. The ministry claims that the social network is illicitly and arbitrarily imposing its standards of censorship upon Brazil.
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Brazilian ministry also claims that the act violates several laws for instance, Brazil’s constitution and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity and Cultural Expressions. Reportedly, the Ministry will be taking “appropriate legal action against the practice of censorship and the attack on freedom of expression.”
The removed photograph was uploaded on the Internet as part of a post dedicated to celebrate the opening of Brasiliana Fotografica photo portal. The portal is being launched by the National Library Foundation and Instituto Moreira Salles.
This picture depicting a bare chested Airmore tribe couple was created at the end of 19th century. It was posted on Wednesday by the ministry and on Thursday morning the panel noticed that the photograph was absent from the social media site.
Brazil’s Minister of Culture Juca Ferreira stated: “For us it is a serious issue because it is an assault on our sovereignty, our legislation. It is disrespect to our cultural diversity and to the indigenous peoples of Brazil. If the Indians may not appear as they are, it means they may not appear indigenous, which is great cruelty.”
The Ministry has also contacted Facebook and warned the social network about the illegality of this action. Facebook is also requested by the Ministry to unblock the picture immediately.
However, according to Facebook, it follows its own rules and will maintain the decision of blocking the picture. The social network’s director of institutional relations in Brazil, Bruno Magrani, announced that the picture will not be unblocked. This was decided during a telephone conversation and thus, no record of the arguments was available.
After about 24hours, that is, on Friday morning, the image was unblocked by Facebook. However, the case still is being seriously considered by the Ministry of Culture.
On Friday, Facebook addressed the issue in a note, which read:
“It is not easy to find the right balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and maintain a comfortable experience for our global and culturally diverse community. We respect local laws and just like any other media, have limitations with nudity. We are always open to feedback and discussion to improve our Community Standards.”