Facebook has come under intense criticism after it banned a picture of Tess Holliday, a plus size model who they claim violated their health and fitness standards.

Holliday, who is a well-known and celebrated model, was being used being used as the face of a conference on “feminism and being fat”.

However, when Australian group Cherchez la Femme posted a photo of the size 26 model Tess in a bikini for the ad, Facebook moderators stepped in and blocked it.

The group claims it wanted to pay for advertising to “boost” the number of people who saw the event, but Facebook prevented them saying that the “health and safety standards” of the social networking site were violated.

One of the event organizers, Jessamy Gleeson contacted Facebook to protest the ban, but was told the picture ‘promoted an undesirable manner’ and that it “violates Facebook’s Ad Guideline’s by promoting an idealized physical image”.

A message from the site read: “The image depicts a body or body parts in a undesirable manner. Ads may not depict a state of health or body weight as being perfect or extremely undesirable.”

In response, Gleeson posted on Facebook: “Facebook has ignored the fact that our event is going to be discussing body positivity (which comes in all shapes and sizes, but in the particular case of our event, fat bodies), and has instead come to the conclusion that we’ve set out to make women feel bad about themselves by posting an image of a wonderful plus sized woman.”

She added: “We’re raging pretty hard over here – both because Facebook seemingly has no idea that plus sized, self describing fat women can feel great about themselves, and also because we haven’t been able to boost the original damn post.”