Censorship backlash in Spain after Facebook bans the bulls

Images of bullfighting are likely to be censored on Facebook from now on after the social network included the tradition on its offensive list.

Censorship backlash in Spain after Facebook bans the bulls
Photo: AFP

People eager to upload photos to Facebook of one of Spain’s most “typical” cultural activities might want to think twice, after the social network announced it was including bullfighting in the categories of photos that could be banned for being “inappropriate”. 

For the first time, Facebook has included “hunting and bullfighting” in the categories that could cause offense and upset to users.  

Bullfighting aficionados have shown their outrage at the decision.  

Sources quoted in Spanish daily, La Vanguardia, complained about bull fighting not being recognised as a “cultural activity” and being placed in the same category as porn.

The Fundación del Toro de Lidia, which campaigns for the defence of bullfighting, said it will meet with Facebook executives in the coming months to discuss the matter.

But while bullfighting fans oppose the decision it has been welcomed by animal rights campaigners.

“Facebook admits the extreme violence involved and has included bullfights as a reason to report a photo #stopbullfighting,” tweeted Pacma, Spain’s animal rights political party.

Facebook has a number of “community standards” that must be adhered to in order for people, comments or photographs not to be blocked.

“If you want to report something that goes against our Community Standards (eg: nudity, hate speech, violence), use the Report link near the post, photo or comment to report it to us,” the social network writes on its website. 

The anti-bullfighting movement has been steadily growing in Spain, where the 'corrida' has already been banned in Catalonia and the Canary Islands. 

This summer, 13 people were killed by bulls during bull runs and fiestas around Spain, making one of the deadliest summers in recent years.


By Tuesday afternoon Facebook appeared to have removed “bullfighting” from the list of examples of photographs that might be inappropriate. 

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