It should be well understood at this point that attempts by internet platforms to automagically do away with sexualized content on their sites via algorithms are… imperfect, if we want to be kind. The more accurate description is to say that these filters are so laughably horrible at actually filtering out objectionable content that they seem farcical. When, for instance, Tumblr can’t tell the difference between porn and pictures of Super Mario villains, and when Facebook can’t do likewise between porn and bronze statues or educational breast cancer images consisting of stick figures…well, it’s easy to see that there’s a problem.
Notably, some of the examples above, and many others, are years old. You might have thought that in the intervening years, the most prominent sites would have gotten their shit together. You would be decidedly wrong, as evidenced by Facebook’s refusal to allow Devolver Digital, the publishers of the forthcoming video game GRIS, to publish this launch trailer for the game, due to its sexual content.
Did you spot the sexual content? I know you probably think you did. Or, you at least you think you know what confused the filters, and you probably think it had something to do with the close up on the female character’s face.
Well, ha ha, jokes on all of us, because it was this image for…reasons?
Yes, the outline image of a crumbling sculpture is what set off Facebook’s puritanical alarms. Now, Devolver Digital appealed this with Facebook, but, amazingly, that appeal was rejected by Facebook, which argued for some reason that it “doesn’t allow nudity.” Except, of course, there is no damned nudity in the trailer. In fact, there isn’t anything even remotely close to nudity. This is about as clean as it gets.
Let’s go to the folks at Devolver Digital for a reaction to the failed appeal.
A Devolver representative tells Kotaku “this is stupid”.
I could try to add something to that, but why bother? Facebook filters: this is stupid.
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