Facebook has apologised for removing a photo of a gay kiss.

The image, of a gay kiss on UK soap EastEnders, was removed for being “sexually suggestive” and “abusive”.

It was used by US writer Niall O’Conghaile to accompany a blog post about the ‘kiss-in’ held to support a gay couple who were kicked out of a pub.

Richard Metzger, the editor of the Dangerous Minds blog where the news story was published, posted the story on Facebook but received a warning from site administrators about the image.

Facebook said in a statement: “The photo in question does not violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and was removed in error. We apologise for the inconvenience.”

Hundreds of people added the image to their profiles to complain about the removal.

Facebook has been criticised for over-zealous policing of images, including removing pictures of mothers nursing newborn babies.