The other week, in an attempt to capture some ever-elusive social media traffic, we uploaded our store’s catalog to our Facebook page. Entrusting our wares to the algorithm has been an odd and mystifying experience, with one of the most curious aspects being the products that got rejected.
Although Facebook helpfully listed the “Policy Issues” each art-inspired item violated, a number of the reasons provided were absolutely baffling, and to top it off, we’re unable to dispute the majority of them. Oh well.
We may never understand the machinations of the tech giant and why it believes a clutch with a flower print is an animal, but at least it made us laugh. Here’s a list of some of our favorite gifts, books, toys, and more that, to our best guess, were simply too hot for Facebook to handle.
The social network takes a firm stance against this Frida Kahlo seek-and-find book, deeming it an “adult product” with “overtly sexualized positioning.” We can’t quite figure out what got this book flagged as explicit, but hey, if you’re a fan, check out the rest of our collection for more Frida stuff that’s equally suggestive.
The Art of Behaving Badly
Sexy times continue with The Art of Behaving Badly, the new Guerrilla Girls book and the first publication to catalog their entire career from 1985 to the present. More than a monograph, it’s also an adult product (or so says Facebook), and we guess Zuck’s got some beef with the Guerrilla Girls because we’re prohibited from using any ads to promote most of their products.
My Life Is Crap Tea Towel
This merry tea towel is the champion of the list, having violated two policies and being banned from three channels. One of the reasons given for its censure is that it promotes the “buying and selling of animals,” so while that lamb is awfully cute, we feel obligated to put an end to the illusion and reveal that it’s just a print and not a real, living thing. The other Magda Archer product that made it into this animalistic category is the cute yellow clutch we mentioned earlier.
Basically everything in our Keith Haring collection
These got flagged for “promoting the buying or selling of tobacco products or tobacco paraphernalia” and, okay, fair, we totally get it. It’s not like we’re using them for tobacco, but you can still purchase them directly from our store — they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with four iconic designs to choose from. We also carry G-rated Keith Haring goodies, like these cool glass trays and this adorable Keith Hairball cat pin, both of which you can find on our Facebook page, too.
Helen Frankenthaler Notecards
We’re starting to think Facebook might have some… issues… with women artists, because this set of 20 cards featuring paintings by Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler is the third item to have been rejected for being “sexually suggestive.” Maybe the algorithm mistook one of the brushstrokes on the box for a nipple? We all know they’re afraid of those.
Black Square Editions
Apparently, there’s something about poetry that is anathema to advertising, which is unfortunate because we believe that people should be reading more poetry! Quite a few of the titles we carry from independent publisher Black Square Editions ran up against issues with Facebook’s Advertising Policies, but we suppose we’ll never know specifics because the list of possible explanations ranges from “sale of body parts” to the not-at-all Orwellian “controversial content.”
“Unicorn in Captivity” Patch
Perhaps the most enigmatic entry on our list, this pretty embroidered patch based on the Unicorn Tapestries at the Met Cloisters is the only item to have been flagged for violating Commerce Policies rather than Advertising Policies. We’re not sure what this means or why the enamel pin and silk scarf adaptations of the same artwork made the cut, but some of life’s mysteries are meant to remain that way.
Though you might not be able to find these products on our Facebook page, fear not, for you can purchase them directly from our online store — which, along with our new Membership Program, is a great way to support our independent arts journalism!
For more art-inspired gifts, books, and home goods, visit the Hyperallergic Store.
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