Anti-Censorship Activists Strip Nude Outside Facebook HQ in Protest - Rolling Stone
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Anti-Censorship Activists Strip Nude Outside Facebook HQ to Fight Nudity Ban

“Instagram, the most popular platform for artists who share their work online, and its parent company, Facebook, both ban photographic representations of the nude body”

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image contains partial nudity) People pose nude holding cut outs of nipples during a photo shoot by artist Spencer Tunick on June 2, 2019 in New York City. Spencer Tunick staged his photo shoot in front of the Facebook building in Manhattan to protest Facebook and Instagram's ban on showing the female nipple on their social media platforms. Tunic says that the ban hurts fine artists who use nudity in  their artwork. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Over 100 anti-censorship activists stripped nude outside Facebook and Instagram's New York headquarters to protest their nudity guidelines.

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Over 100 anti-censorship activists stripped nude outside Facebook and Instagram’s New York headquarters Sunday to protest the social media company’s nudity guidelines.

The stunt, orchestrated by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and photographer/artist Spencer Tunick, featured the nude models’ nipples and genitals “with stickers of photographed male nipples, to highlight the rigid — and anachronistic — gender inequality in existing nudity policies,” the NCAC said.

“The human body has always been a central subject of art. Its representations have evolved with technologies of expression: from cave drawings, to sculpture and painting, to photography and video,” NCAC said in the We the Nipple mission statement.

“Yet leading 21st century social media platform, Instagram, the most popular platform for artists who share their work online, and its parent company, Facebook, both ban photographic representations of the nude body, while making an exception for artistic nudity in sculpture and painting.”

Even after the artistic protest Sunday – which carried the hashtag #WeTheNipple – photos from the event and inspired by the campaign were censored on social media; according to the NCAC, all posts bearing that hashtag were removed on Instagram by Monday due to “community guidelines”

“We recognize that moderating content for billions of users is challenging and draw the line between art and images that are not art is hard,” Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs at NCAC, said in a statement.

“Yet, if Facebook and Instagram want to be platforms for artists, they need to modify their current overbroad ban on photographic nudity, which harms artists who work with the human body, especially those exploring issues of gender and identity. We urge the company to adopt an art-friendly policy developed with the help of a group of global stakeholders, such as arts advocates, historians, curators and artists.”

 

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