When news broke that Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run star Burt Reynolds passed away at the age of 82, people rushed to Facebook to pay their respects—by posting Reynolds’s famous Cosmopolitan magazine centerfold picture, as one does.
Facebook, though, has standards, and those images of Reynolds sprawled on a bear-skin rug may have passed muster back in 1972 when he appeared in Helen Gurley Brown’s magazine, but they were too much for the pearl-clutching community of today. The image was repeatedly flagged, according to social media reports. The postings were pulled and account holders were notified that they were violating Facebook’s very high standards.
Twitter (the last refuge for people kicked off Facebook) is currently filled with stories of people who said they tried to pay tribute to Reynolds by posting his not-even-nude centerfolds on Facebook—and then getting booted.
Facebook seems to be still trying to figure out what’s newsworthy. Just last week it was criticized by the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect for removing pictures of naked Holocaust victims in a news post. In that instance, the company admitted it was a mistake.
We reached out to Facebook about Burt Reynolds and will update if we hear back. In the meantime: Let the people pay their respects, Facebook!
Update: Facebook released the following statement: “We are restoring the image as it does not break our standards and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
So @facebook just permanently disabled my account and has marked it for deletion because I posted Burt Reynold’s Cosmo centerfold pic.
— Jill Blake (@biscuitkitten) September 6, 2018
My wife posted the Burt Reynolds Playgirl centerfold on Facebook and they took it down because it didn’t meet their community guidelines. This is a great victory for Burt, considering the image is 40 years old.
— MZS (@mattzollerseitz) September 6, 2018
Boy, Facebook really has that Burt Reynolds image dialled in on their content systems… This took like 30 seconds. pic.twitter.com/hbzIX1ykDx
— Dylan Reeve (@DylanReeve) September 6, 2018
Facebook just removed my post about Burt Reynolds, because it says that a photo from 1972 violates its Community Standards in 2018. pic.twitter.com/xAMWeWg3WM
— Jelisa Castrodale (@gordonshumway) September 6, 2018
According to @facebook, the photo of Burt Reynolds's Cosmo centerfold, which hints at but shows NO nudity, flies in the face of its "community standards."
You are the dumbest social media site on the planet.
— Lynn Comella (@LynnComella) September 7, 2018
Raise your hand if you got a Burt Reynolds photo pulled from Facebook today ????
— colin dana (@cocolaintraffik) September 6, 2018