Facebook Censors Manet and Me
This week Facebook pulled my ad for Paris Red because it said I was “promoting nudity.” My ad didn’t have any nudity in it, but it linked to an interview I did that featured a detail from Manet’s Olympia. That’s all it took for me to get this response from Facebook:
Here’s the ad as it appeared to the Facebook users I targeted, American men and women ages 30 to 65+, who expressed an interest in Manet:
The ad linked to Stephanie Renee Dos Santos’s blog, “Love of Art in Historical Fiction.” You can read the interview here and see the cropped image that I suggested Stephanie use—and that got me in trouble with Facebook. To be clear, Facebook did allow me to keep the post on my professional page.
Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune books editor, heard about my experience and wrote about it in a short article called “Facebook, That Prude” in the April 3 edition of the paper.
I read ParisRed today. I enjoyed the world of Trine and E and Paris in 1862. Thank you for creating it for me. I took a look at your blog and enjoyed the interview with Stephanie. I also took some time to research Olympia and extended my enjoyment. I’ll look for the 1866 portrait of Victorine when I’m next at the Met.
Specifically, I appreciated the way you had the character of Victorine process her world and interactions. I may pick up her biography at some later date.
I found your book on the “new fiction” shelf of my library, North Valley branch of Albuquerque Bernalillo County library in ABQ, NM. I saw that you spent some time in NM and thought you’d enjoy learning of the ripples your work has created in the world.
The world of Facebook cracks me up, Manet would chuckle, I’m sure.
Kathi, thank you for your kind words about Paris Red and about Victorine. I loved living in this world with the characters. And I agree — I think Manet would be amused by Facebook’s ruling. He was criticized many times for his choice of subject matter, and nothing would surprise him.
If you are interested, you can view Margaret Mary Armbrust Seibert’s dissertation about Victorine at the Ohio State University’s open link website. Here is a link for a page that allows you to view the dissertation or download it for free:
And Eunice Lipton’s book Alias Olympia is fantastic.
Thank you for taking time to write!