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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CENSORSHIP IN SOCIAL MEDIA: WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?





Censorship in Social Media: Where do we draw the line?

The latest issue of The Art Newspaper featured an interesting little story on Facebook and their censorship of the nude in art. The article focuses on Swedish-based photography museum, Fotografiska, and their pre-emption of this censorship by censoring themselves: in their promotion of an upcoming retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe, they have covered the potentially titillating bodily areas of Mapplethorpe’s nudes with ‘Facebook-friendly squares’. This was partly to avoid having these images removed as has happened before, but also, as they say, “to trigger a debate.”

The social media giant previously attracted criticism for censoring Gustave Corbet’s ‘L’Origine du Monde’ after it was posted by Copenhagen-based artist Frode Steinicke. The ‘erotic’ work of art (a classification which alone is debateable in my opinion) falls short of Facebook’s prohibition of offensive materials. This sparked a natural reaction, with many other Facebook users defiantly changing their profile pictures to the famous painting in an act of solidarity with Steinicke.

Read full article here.

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