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.
It’s nothing new that Facebook censors nude photos, but now it turns out that even classical works of art aren’t spared from the social network’s policy. Works of 16th-century painter Peter Paul Rubens have been removed from Facebook after the Belgian region of Flanders shared them in a social media advertising campaign. As a response, Toerisme Vlaanderen, the Flemish tourism bureau wrote a rather humorous open letter to Mark Zuckerberg. They have even published a comical video that mocks the “21st century social media regulations.”
We all know how important social media platforms are these days for promotion our brand. In the case of Australian blogger, Jessa O’Brien, (a.k.a. thenudeblogger), that platform is Instagram. With over 43,000 followers, it’s certainly helping her to get her blog out in front of an audience. But she hit a snag when Instagram shut down her account.
Instagram parent, Facebook, has a fairly strict “no nudity” policy. So, it wasn’t really all that much of a surprise. But, on Instagram, things seem to be fairly inconsistent with how this policy is enforced. Many of us know somebody who’s been through this, or have been through it ourselves. To add to the confusion of what is and isn’t allowed, Jessa’s account has now been reinstated.
This Tuesday, the reporters of many major newspapers tried covering the healthcare protests on Capitol Hill. According to their tweets from the Senate Gallery, the police blocked them and tried forcing them to delete the photos.
That day, almost 100 demonstrators were arrested for protesting against Trumpcare. As the journalists tried to cover the arrest, the police prevented them from taking photos, calling the place “a crime scene.”
I admit, the first time I saw these images I though they were fake. Someone probably added their clothes on as a joke. But when I realized the context and saw the source of the images, it made sense. The fact that the execution was bad made it hilarious. Accommodate
“Bikinis and mini-skirts may be commonplace in the Western world, but the Middle-East is a slightly different story. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran enforce strict modesty laws on women in keeping with Islamic tradition, and prohibit any skin other than the face and hands from showing. These restrictions even apply to Britney and Madonna, as it turns out.” – Bored Panda
Yesterday I found out that one of my photographs was misused, or stolen if you ask me, by a major international publishing company. Sadly this type of thing is so common that it’s almost not even worth writing about. However, it’s what happened during my quest to call-out the company that really captured my attention.
Question: can AI vision systems from Microsoft and Google, which are available for free to anybody, identify NSFW (not safe for work, nudity) images? Can this identification be used to automatically censor images by blacking out or blurring NSFW areas of the image?
After a rather recent public controversy over censorship rules, Facebook are revisiting their playbook when it comes to newsworthy images. Those posting images like the one at the top of this post by photography Nick Ut, were warned to remove or pixelate them to comply with Facebook’s guidelines. When even Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg reposted the photo to shot her support, her post was removed, too.
The images and associated posts have since been reinstated. It does leave obvious unanswered questions about what is and isn’t allowed, though. After receiving feedback from its community, Facebook are taking another look at their rules and how they can create a system that respects such work, while continuing to block things we don’t want to see.