by Christopher Agostino
The two things that bother me the most about this Facebook censorship of the Breast Cancer Awareness images:
That the removal of the images indicated no regard to the social impact of the project or the women participants. In this particular case it is the very act of allowing their unclothed, painted bodies to be seen publicly that is meant to facilitate the healing of the individuals and to be the vehicle for increasing breast cancer awareness. There seems to have been no consideration of that when judging whether the images met the vague Facebook standards—standards vague enough you’d hope they would allow leeway for a good cause.
— 2 —
That the actual nature of the images seemed to be of little or no consequence: in the particular case of Jamie, the survivor/model whose quote about having her photos removed by Facebook appears in my initial post, the image that was removed so completely obscured her torso through bodypainting and digital touchup that it’s hard to guess what the justification is. (see the post, her quote and the image: http://wp.me/p1sRkg-r0 ) Was the reason for removing the image only because there is body painting involved, as if that act is enough to make an image inappropriate? From a body painter’s perspective that possibility is troubling. More troubling is the suggestion in some postings about the image removal that it is specifically because these images have to do with breast cancer that they were flagged in the first place—that breast cancer images draw Facebook scrutiny. I don’t know if that is true. I do find it curious that the image of the cover of Survivors Magazine was removed from my Tweet about that initial posting, whereas the image of the cover of the Art Color Ballet book was not, even though it also shows a painted naked female torso.
So that’s what troubles me most.
I’ve pretty well run my course on this censorship issue and if I keep talking about it I run the risk of passing myself off as an expert in a field in which I’m only an occasional victim, and a minor one at that, as nothing yet of mine that has been removed was particularly troubling to me. I have one more post in me about this which should be coming up pretty soon: “Nipples”.
One more thing, I had a bunch of people contact me by email about the last few posts and their own issues with FB and censorship. I invite any and all of you who read my posts to add your comments here on the blog page and help move the conversation forward.
On The Media just broadcast The Facebook Show Check it out to get an inside look at this privately controlled entity that has such a public impact and now has almost 1 billion users after only 6 years of existence. My favorite factoid might be about the guy who got FB to give him a copy of all the information they keep on him and it totaled up to 1,200 pages of data.
A few months ago I was led to the art of Scott Fray. I don’t know Scott, and he was not one of the artists that contacted me about the recent censorship posts. His work is beautiful, breathtaking, championship winning, and apparently not appropriate for Facebook. See an article about his own problems with FB: http://www.yesweekly.com/triad/article-12740-ufffdwe-are-the-champions-of-the-worldufffd.html
See my fine art bodypainting at http://thestorybehindthefaces.com/body-painting/
To learn more about our programs and performances: http://www.agostinoarts.com
- Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project – Survivor Magazine (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- Body Painting on TV in a Superbowl Ad, a Good Thing, Right? (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- Body Painting Dance Company: Art Color Ballet (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- Why Body Painting? – 4: Radical Act – The essential celebration of our humanity / the ultimate modern art (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- Aussie mothers protest against Facebook for removing breastfeeding photos (oleole.com)
- Facebook Censorship for BCABPP Challenged (sacredspacestudio.wordpress.com)
- is a painted body naked? http://wp.me/p1sRkg-5Qis a painted body naked ? – Pt.2: Painting Clothing On vs. Painting on Clothing: http://wp.me/p1sRkg-6v
- Censored: Apple Content Filtering Needs Work – PCWorld (pcworld.com)
- Men Getting Women Naked and Yves Klein – Female Nudity in Art (thestorybehindthefaces.com)
- Nipples (thestorybehindthefaces.com)