Led Zeppelin’s fifth album, Houses of the Holy album cover artwork was banned by Facebook until now. Facebook has now reversed its ban and the lift will come into effect in the coming days, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. A spokesperson from Facebook stated, “As our community standards explain, we don’t allow nude images of children on Facebook. But we know this a culturally significant image. Therefore, we’re restoring the posts we removed.”
In the coming days, the social-media giant will adjust its review mechanisms to permit sharing of this cover by all users. Facebook also plans to allow similar content on a case-by-case basis that might otherwise violate their standards if it is deemed newsworthy, significant or important to the public interest.
According to an article on Pitchfork, the site had been removing posts containing the image, originally created by the designer Aubrey Powell, citing community standards, according to reports that emerged this week. The artwork’s cultural significance overrides policy on images of nude children.
The cover art for Houses of the Holy was inspired by Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End. The cover is a collage of several photographs taken at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis. The photo shoot was done over a 10-day span and featured two children, Stefan and Samantha Gates. Shooting was done first thing in the morning and at sunset in order to capture the light at dawn and dusk, but the desired effect was never achieved due to constant rain and clouds. The photos of the two children were taken in black and white and were multi-printed to create the effect of 11 individuals that can be seen on the album cover.
Houses of the Holy was released on 28 March 1973 by Atlantic Records. The album received a Diamond (over 10-million albums sold) certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999. In 2012, the album was ranked at number 148 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.