After Criticism, Facebook Agrees to Meet With Artists and Curators to Discuss the Censorship of Art on Its Site

June 19, 2019

The nipple debate between artists, art educators, museum curators, activists, as well as Facebook employees....


“Last spring, Facebook released an updated policy toward nudity, which allowed for paintings and sculptures that depict nude figures. (In the past, even major museums have found themselves in social-media jail for posting photos of antique sculptures including the Venus of Willendorf.) But restrictions still apply to fine-art photographs that contain nudity. (Under Facebook’s terms, women’s nipples are not allowed to be displayed except in very specific contexts, such as photographs of breastfeeding, or to depict the aftermath of mastectomy surgery. Men, meanwhile, have no such rules applied to their bodies.)

‘We acknowledge that moderating content for billions of users with diverse values presents unprecedented challenges and that drawing the line between art and images that are not art is notoriously hard,’ the letter reads. ‘But this challenge does not justify banning all photographic images of the nude body, a ban that imposes the beliefs of some Facebook users on the entire world, stifles artistic expression, and enforces gender discrimination by permitting images of male nipples while prohibiting female nipples.’

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