Back in June, Instagram censored an image of a Black, plus-size model Nyome Nicholas – Williams holding an arm across her breasts. This caused a lot of controversies and even started a movement and a petition for Instagram to “stop censoring fat black women.” And they did. After the whole controversy and Nyome’s campaign, Instagram has changed its nudity policy.
No matter how hard some influencers try to debunk the myth of “the perfect body,” there will always be those who promote it. Heck, even Instagram itself seems to prefer skinny, model-like women over us regular gals. The platform recently banned users from sharing Celeste Barber‘s semi-nude parody photo. It wouldn’t be a problem if the original image of a model Candice Swanepoel weren’t left untouched. After the scandal, Instagram quickly came under fire for “fat-shaming” and “double standards.”
Yes, folks, you read that right. Facebook banned a photo of onions posted to the Facebook page of Canada-based seed company, Gaze Seed Company for being “overtly sexual”. The company used the image in a Facebook ad in order to sell Walla Walla sweet onion seeds on the platform when they were told that the image went against their advertising policies.
The image used in the ad is of the seed packaging and shows a handful of the company’s onions in a wicker basket, which the Facebook says were positioned in a “sexually suggestive manner”. According to Gaze Seed Company, however, the controversy has brought them more sales than the ad ever would have on its own.
A few months ago, the Chinese government reportedly required Shutterstock to start censoring some topics for China-based users. Some Shutterstock employees disagreed, claiming that “blacklisting” search terms wasn’t in accordance with the right of free speech. But one of the executives responded to it by basically telling them to go and work somewhere else.
Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA) recently announced finalists and shortlists of its annual contest. However, some images of Hong Kong protests have been removed due to their alleged “sensitive nature.” This has caused a backlash in the community, accusing competition organizers of censorship.
Facebook has gone under fire a few times so far for censoring “nude” images that are artistic, iconic, or merely show nude statues. And after Facebook censored the famous Nik Ut’s photo “Napalm Girl,” it looks like YouTube followed the same footsteps. Martin Kaninsky of All About Street Photography recently uploaded a video that tells the story behind this iconic photo. However, it was soon flagged for violating YouTube’s Child Safety Policy.
An Iranian music streaming website Melovaz recently came under fire for removing images of women from album covers. World-famous artists like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Lana Del Ray were removed from the artwork of their own albums. What’s more, if the album covers featured men – these men were left intact, while the women were photoshopped out.
Facebook has the policy to ban photographic nudity, which has been a problem for many photographers who share their work on Facebook and Instagram. But this could soon change. Photographer Spencer Tunick recently organized a nude photo shoot outside of company’s offices to challenge its policies. As a result, Facebook will reconsider its nudity guidelines when it comes to photographic art.
Many cultural institutions use social networks nowadays to promote their events. Geneva’s Museum of Art and History is no exception, but Facebook’s photo policy ruined its campaign. The museum posted images of two ancient statues that will be exhibited in an upcoming show. However, Facebook apparently thinks they’re porn, so it banned the museum’s ad.
Facebook has had some pretty weird cases of censoring works of art before. This time, photos taken by iconic photographer Irving Penn were censored because, basically, Facebook thinks they’re porn. Photographer Cliff Cheng shared some of Penn’s portraits of tribes on the verge of extinction, and Facebook deleted them in a matter of minutes due to “nudity or sexuality activity.” And after two reviews, the social network still sees the photos as inappropriate.