Carlotta Trevisan is a 28-year-old straight Italian woman who supports LGBT rights. Like many activists, she decided to use her Facebook account to promote her views. Specifically, she posted a stock photo that was deemed by Facebook officials to break site rules related to “nudity and pornography.”
However, there’s no nudity in the photo Trevisan used on her account, and many would say calling it “pornographic” is a stretch, too. The image Facebook found offensive features two women passionately kissing. They also have painted images of the gay pride flag on their cheeks. One of the women also has those now iconic rainbow colors painted on her hand, and the image shows her palm positioned to face the camera.
The Italian woman decided to switch up her Facebook account profile picture to show solidarity for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) event that occurred this past Saturday. Facebook representatives contacted her later that day to say the picture was unacceptable. After refusing to take the photo off her Facebook account, she was told the account would be suspended for being in violation of “community standards.”
Someone who saw the photo on her account decided to report Trevisan to Facebook, but that was not the only person who was offended by the image. According to Pink News, people also posted comments calling the picture “disgusting” and saying it was not appropriate for the site because other people who use Facebook “have young children to protect.”
The Italian woman asserted that the stock image that people on Facebook found so offensive is easily accessible through search engines and often used by other people who support LGBT rights. She clarified, “There is nothing bad about a kiss…When I see people of the same gender kissing, I see only love, nothing else.” She also recognized the fact that she can stand up to support her views, but a younger person, such as a teenager, may not feel as well-equipped.
The suspended Facebook account was eventually unblocked, allowing the Italian activist to post as normal again. Once her account was re-opened, she boldly put the photo back up. Recently, the Rainbow Europe survey looked at 49 European countries and found that Italy was among the worst at upholding human rights for LGBT people.
Even something as seemingly simple as a photo on a Facebook account made waves and showed how there’s certainly progress to be made in that area. Fortunately, Carlotta Trevisan is one resident of the country who’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right.