Nude Image In 19th Century Painting Lands Facebook In Trouble

Five years ago, Facebook landed itself in hot water after suspending an account over a post containing a 19th-century nude painting.

A 55-year-old Parisian teacher had his account suspended after posting a picture of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting The Origin of the World, which shows a vagina.

Durand-Baissas believes Facebook's decision is an act of censorship and has been suing the company for €20,000 ($22,500) in damages.

The social media giant defended itself by saying the lawsuit was without merit as all cases needed to be heard in a specific court in California, where Facebook's headquarters are.

However, an appeals court has now upheld a decision to let French courts hear cases concerning French users. This sets a legal precedent in the country, where Facebook has more than 30 million users.

The lawyer representing the teacher told the Associated Press: “This is a great satisfaction and a great victory after five years of legal action.”

Stephane Cottineau said: “On one hand, Facebook shows a total permissiveness regarding violence and ideas conveyed on the social network. And on the other hand, [it] shows an extreme prudishness regarding the body and nudity."