France: Court sets precedent in Facebook vagina artwork censorship battle


A Paris court has announced that it can preside over a French citizen’s legal case against Facebook in a battle against the censorship of a vagina painting, despite the social network’s terms and conditions stating it can only be tried in the US.

The case was sparked in 2011 by the deletion of teacher and father of three, Frédéric Durand-Baissas’ Facebook account after he uploaded Gustave Courbet’s l’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World) artwork.

“Facebook cannot tell the difference between pornography and art”
Frédéric Durand-Baissas

The incident saw Baissas claim Facebook cannot tell the difference between pornography and art.

Baissas’ lawyer said that Facebook’s terms and conditions claiming it can only receive legal actions from Californian-based courts was “abusive” and discriminating against France’s 22 million users — depriving them of a legal voice in their home nation.

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