Borders artist baffled after robin painting is given the bird by Facebook

Jackie Charley with her controversial Christmas cards.
Jackie Charley with her controversial Christmas cards.

A Borders artist was left baffled after her painting of a robin redbreast was banned from Facebook apparently for being too sexual.

Jackie Charley, 52, of Ashloaning in Denholm, repeatedly failed to upload to the social media site an image of the bird featured on packs of seasonal greeting cards she was hoping to sell.

Denholm artist Jackie Charley's controversial robin Christmas card design.

Denholm artist Jackie Charley's controversial robin Christmas card design.

Facebook told her the image, along with ones of a stag and squirrel, fell foul of rules banning pornography, saying: “It looks like we didn’t approve your item because we don’t allow the sale of adult items or services, eg, sexual enhancement items or adult videos.”

Jackie was mystified by that decision and has repeatedly asked Facebook for an explanation, but without success so far.

The ban was a blow as she works from home to allow her to care for her husband and relies financially on selling cards via her Bothycrafts page on Facebook.

It has since been lifted, however, due to the furore it sparked, and Facebook has admitted it was a mistake.

A spokesperson for the socia media site said: “Our team processes millions of images each week, and occasionally we incorrectly prohibit content, as happened here.

“We approved Jackie’s post as soon as we became aware of our mistake, and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.”

The mother of two said: “I still haven’t got to the bottom of it. I can only assume that there is some robot looking at these images rather than a person.

“It makes no sense because I’d uploaded some more funky images on the same day, and I had no problem with them at all.

“It’s very frustrating because I don’t have another job, and I am doing this to generate some income for my family.

“Facebook has allowed some hideous violent pictures to get through, and yet they block these images which are just so, well, benign.

“I am completely mystified. How could these cards be seen as inappropriate in any way? These are lovely pieces of art that I just wanted people to enjoy at Christmas.

“How they could be considered inappropriate or sexual is beyond me.”

The furore has sparked outrage on social media, prompting suggestions that the ban might be down to the use of the word ‘redbreast’, a theory not supported by Jackie as she called the bird ‘robin’ not ‘robin redbreast’ when uploading the images.

She added: “I tried to upload the images five times, but this rejection message kept coming up. I was sure it was a mistake, but it wasn’t.”

Jackie’s cards are now available, for £5.99 for a pack of six, at www.facebook.com/Bothycrafts/posts/1936255106629419