Facebook Bans Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy" Album Art

June 19, 2019

In February 8th, 2011, Facebook user Michelle Kaotic uploaded an image of Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy to an event page, celebrating the album's release. Eight years later, Facebook banned the image and removed the post.

The artwork, which features nude children climbing Giant's Caseway in Northern Ireland, was meant to capture the fascination of childhood innocence from the late 60s/early 70s.

However, Facebook removed the image due to its community standards on nudity or sexual activity. And because the social platform averages 350 million photos uploaded each day, moderation can be quite difficult. So Facebook's algorithms can detect whether an individual in an image is showing a certain percentage of skin, so the amount of nudity on Houses of the Holy is certain to set them off. Facebook claims to remove 96% of nude photos before they are ever seen by the public.

Plus, users can manually report images for any offensive or crude content. These flagged images and videos are sent to moderators that only have a few seconds to approve or deny a post. Afterwards, any similar content is likely to be removed automatically.

Kaotic, who also runs a Led Zeppelin fan page wrote of Facebook's continuous banning of the Houses of the Holy artwork, posted images of other famous album covers featuring nudity like Nevermind by Nirvana, Nothing's Shocking by Jane's Addiction, and Balance by Van Halen. To her surprise, Facebook allowed these images. "So just to test something, I reported Nirvana's album cover. You would think a baby boy's penis would go against Facebook standards...but as you can see below, it doesn't." She adds, "Interesting how one clearly depicting nudity is not against the standards, but a 46yr old classic album does."

Facebook has yet to issue any sort of response.