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People are mad because that Burt Reynolds Cosmo centerfold keeps vanishing from Facebook

People are mad because that Burt Reynolds Cosmo centerfold keeps vanishing from Facebook
[Photo: Kemberly Groue/U.S. Air Force]

If you’re wondering what Napalm girl, Holocaust survivors, and nearly nude Burt Reynolds have in common, it’s this—they were all deemed to have violated Facebook’s ever-evolving community standards.

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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.”

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