Facebook policing community standards almost sounds like a joke.

But the Barnes Foundation isn’t laughing. This educational institution committed to art appreciation was taken aback last month when Facebook rejected an image featured in the exhibition “Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel." The social media site judged it “inappropriate.”

Where’s the beef?

The painting, titled "Nude Sitting on a Sofa" shows an artist’s model at rest between posing sessions. Her arms and legs are crossed overlaying both her upper and lower anatomy. In effect, the figure is nude in name only.

It’s as if Facebook saw the title of the painting without seeing the painting. How else to explain the ban on nudity when there isn’t any?

Barnes appealed the decision, defending the work as historically important. (Valadon was the first female artist accepted by the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Fellow members included art giants like Manet, Dore, and Delacroix).

Facebook’s response was to direct Barnes to a web page of guidelines that forbids “nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative.”

It’s notable that Michelangelo’s David is exempt from the rules. According to Facebook’s guidelines, “nudity in a statue is compliant.” Frontal nudity in three dimensions is compliant?

Makes you wonder if Valadon’s figure were a statue, would it have gotten a pass, too?

Unclean thoughts?

Or are Facebook’s thoughts of nude females in art limited to thoughts of sex? I ask this because this isn’t the first time the website played cop when it comes to baring women’s bodies in painting.

In 2017, Facebook censored a picture I posted to illustrate a column about Renaissance painter Piero di Cosimo.

The painting, "A Satyr Mourning Over a Nymph," is vintage Renaissance. It represents a state of mind.

What Di Cosimo shows you is a lone figure mourning the death of a loved one. The Satyr’s anatomy is draped, and only if you look closely at the lifeless body of the nymph can you pick up a breast.

Facebook’s focus on breasts both in the Di Cosimo painting and that of Valadon (and there are others) prompts recollection of the 2010 movie “Social Network” when Mark Zuckerberg got back at a female student for rejecting him by mocking her bra size on his website, known then as Facemash.

Is it shame now that dictates his guidelines?

You’ll notice that the image illustrating the column you’re reading is just a head without the body of the artist’s model that Valadon painted nude. You can tell by her facial expression – wistful, reflective, perhaps - that she’s not out to entice anyone. Zuckerberg is overthinking this picture if prurience is what he sees.

Valadon started as an artist’s model herself and learned by watching other artists. But she didn’t paint women as objects the way they did, like, say, Degas who picture women in their bath - a faceless, as Bathsheba without a story.

Valadon gave women stories. Facebook needs to crack an art book once in a while before it decides to ban it.