An Italian woman said she was left stunned after Facebook suspended her user account for posting a stock photograph of two women kissing in support of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).
Carlotta Trevisan, a 28-year-old mother who is straight, but supports LGBT rights, was asked by Facebook to remove the image, which it said broke rules regarding “nudity and pornography”.
When she refused, she was told her account would be suspended for “violating the community’s standards.”
As well as the image being reported to Facebook, she received abusive comments such as that the image was “disgusting”, and inappropriate because other users “have young children to protect.”
The stock image used by Ms Trevisan is widely available through search engines, and is used to show support for LGBT causes.
She said: “What was the harm with this photo, especially when so many like this can be found on Google? How can one photo provoke such sensitivity?
“There is nothing bad about a kiss… When I see people of the same gender kissing, I only see love, nothing else.”
Once Ms Trevisan’s profile was reinstated after the incident which took place on IDAHOT on Saturday, she set the image as her profile picture.
She said the fact that her profile was suspended was “sobering”, and that she feared for others, particularly younger people who may not be able to stand up for themselves.
“I’m 28 years old and can fight back – but if that same photo had been posted by a 16-year-old girl how would she feel?”
Speaking of her daughter, she said: “I’m thinking of her future.”
Many welcomed Ms Trevisan back to Facebook on her return.