Facebook’s lawyers denied that the company engaged in censorship when it shut down the account of a French user after he posted a photograph of a famous 19th century painting of a woman’s genitals and lower torso.

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Frederic Durand-Baissas, 59, a primary school teacher in Paris, has sued the powerful social network in French court, claiming Facebook violated his freedom of speech in 2011 by abruptly removing his profile. Durand-Baissas’ account was suspended hours after he posted a photo of Gustave Courbet’s “The Origin of the World,” a painting from 1866 that depicts female genitalia, the teacher has alleged. The case was heard on Thursday in a Paris civil court.

His lawyers have asked the court to order Facebook to reactivate the account and to pay Durand-Baissas $23,500 in damages. Durand-Baissas also wants Facebook to explain why his account was closed Read more.

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