Exclusive: Facebook takes down classical label

Exclusive: Facebook takes down classical label


norman lebrecht

April 25, 2019

The Norwegian label Lawo Classics has been suspended from Facebook after posting cover art on a Baroque release by the Dutch master Jan Davidsz De Heem (1606-1684), which Facebook deemed to be sexual.

It shows two pieces of fruit.

Facebook is not just very, very bad. It shows signs of going completely mad.

The release is Bergen Barokk “Suite Life”.


  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    We live in bizarre times. Old puritanism in relation to sex is back, while depiction of extreme violence is tolerated.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    More victims of too many cell phone towers around them.

  • hsy says:

    “It shows signs of going completely mad.”

    It only shows that their deep neural networks don’t have a 100% accuracy in image classification…

    Nevertheless this site rule itself is quite stupid.

  • Novagerio says:

    It’s a nutty world we live in…

    • Mike Schachter says:

      Quite, and the US is always exploring new avenues of stupidity

      • Bone says:

        We are definitely hell-bent on exploring the marvelous opportunities presented by rampant migration and socialism.

        • Edgar says:

          @Chiristopher Storey:

          In my experience of living in the US, anything decried as “socialism” is something very worth looking at. Presently, the US is being undone by what I call the Real Existing Capitalism, by the same means as the Soviet Union was undone by Real Existing Socialism: Organized Irresponsibility.

          It is about the way to advance the common good. Yet even this term is declared anathema, “socialist”.

          Call it America’s Cuba Complex.

          As for rampant migration: Lots of Floridians, including and especially the wealthy withe ones occupying towers at the beaches, will flood the continental US in the not too distant future when Florida turns into the Florida Sea.

          Now, that’s the Fruit of Organized Irresponsibility. Bigly.

          • Mick the Knife says:

            Advancing the common good is a fools errand. There are winners and losers and, unless you are the fool described above, do what it takes to be a winner.

        • tamino says:

          My experience might be anecdotal only, but the biggest idiots I met in the US, and I met a lot unfortunately, all voted Republican. Almost no exception.

          • Cubs Fan says:

            Yes, it’s anecdotal and probably a silly lie you’re telling to make yourself feel so superior. There are plenty of idiots in the US to go around, and no party has a monopoly on them. Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, Eric Swalwell, AOC…idiots all.

          • Stuart says:

            It is a sign of how messed up we all are that a simple discussion of Facebook’s wayward technology that reviews images devolves into a really stupid back and forth about political polarization. Tamino’s truly useless comments are indeed anecdotal and if he believes he has imparted some real wisdom, more’s the pity. I live in the US and no one, no one in casual conversation tells you that they voted this way or that way. As to those looking from Europe at the US and shaking their heads, well, your systems of government are no better off these days. Doctor, heal thyself. Back to the topic at hand.

          • Tamino says:

            It’s pretty to guess people’s affiliations, once they start talking about Trump, Clinton or Obama. No need to tell their actual vote.

          • PaulD says:

            You haven’t met my in-laws.

  • Christopher Storey says:

    Facebook is a very peculiar entity, which frankly now serves no useful purpose and one must question whether it is nearing the end of its useful life

  • Nick says:

    Yeah! Agreed. FB should be dissolved altogether. Zuck must be prosecuted!! Too much power, too much influence, too much money!!! No good – full monopoly and market domination.

  • John G Deacon says:

    We don’t bother with it – in this household we call it
    (F)ArseBook. The French, moreover, call it Fesse Book !

  • Violone says:

    Europeans continue to bend over backwards to serve Uncle Sam.

  • Emanuele Passerini says:

    The only cure is simply delete your own FB account and live your normal life as it was 20 years ago. Call your friends and relatives, meet them, speak to them. Just normal life. It works. And FB disappears with all his useless things around…

  • Steve de Mena says:

    Their Facebook page is working fine. It’s not down.

  • Butch says:

    Fruit is very sexual.

  • Tromba in F says:

    So a still life of fruit can carry sexual innuendo and be removed from sight, but overt displays of T&A and hypersexualization go unchecked? De Heem must have been a Republican.

    • Pgricchi@gmail.com says:

      All very true until you revealed your lame belief that members of a huge group are undifferentiated.

  • Edgar says:

    The perfect explanation of why the US porn industry is thriving. Dumb***k Facebook.

  • Pgricchi@gmail.com says:

    It conjures up a highly imaginative Facebook staffer, screening stuff with one fist under his desk.

  • Simon says:

    As bad as this news is, the comments here from the out-of-touch technophobes are much worse…

    • Anonon says:

      Right. It’s a dumb algorithm mistake. It’s funny, and will get fixed shortly, I’m sure. But I suppose people can feel free to give a long rant about how silly Facebook is and that we lived better lives without it… all while engaging in an online comment section.

      The interesting problem Facebook and other tech companies are in is that the US government (and others I’m sure) are no holding them accountable for the content that ends up on their platform, posted by the world. So inevitably, you end up with overprotective algorithms with absurd fringe cases like this one.

  • Peter says:

    About De Heem:
    De Heems marriage with Anna Ruckers in 1644 had undoubtedly secured his position in the
    Antwerp upper middle class. His father-in-law, Andreas Ruckers, was a celebrated harpsichord maker
    with connections both in artistic circles, as well as with the Antwerp upper class, and de Heem may
    well have engaged patrons through such family connections. Among Ruckers’ relations was the
    diamond trader and art collector Gaspar Duarte (1584-1653).
    Read more about this fascinating painter at:

  • Dennis says:

    Further evidence that social media is a pestilence run by, and catering to, cretins.