Local Artist’s Religious Painting Depicting Parkland Victims Rejected on Facebook

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY -- A small group of gunshot wounds on a large religious oil painting got Kevin Davidson's latest work of art rejected from a Facebook ad.

"You gotta be careful when you start censoring artists," Davidson said.

Facebook sent him a message saying the piece did not comply with its advertising policies. "That it was sensational. That it might scare people."

It's called "Parkland Pieta in Stained Glass." Davidson says it depicts the mother praying over the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and praying over a wounded Christ.

"But it's also about hope," he said.

But when FOX40 reached out to Facebook they said the painting also had a certain amount of gore and that a member of their ad team, not an algorithm, reviewed Davidson's submission and mistakenly disproved it.

To Davidson, that sounds like his work certainly was censored.

In a written statement, Facebook said:

"Our team processes millions of ads each week, and sometimes we make mistakes. The artwork in this ad does not violate our advertising policies. We apologize for this error and have already let the advertiser know we approved their ad."

"It was definitely because you contacted them," Davidson said.

Facebook approved Davidson's artwork for the ad within an hour of FOX40 contacting them.

"And they got a crisis going on right now," Davidson said.

On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg appeared before Congress for the first time. Lawmakers grilled him about the social network's data privacy scandal and potential censorship.

"Personally, I think they should have stuck with it and just said no," Davidson remarked. "I would have respected them more.'