Censorship of the arts: facebook and Instagram

Update: Shortly after writing this article on Linkedin, I posted this on my facebook on April 3, 2018. Subsequently, I got blocked by facebook for 30 days. I cannot post, like, comment on my main profile, nor can I access my Pages. Even Messenger was rendered unusable. People could message me but I could not message them. It is a harsh penalty that affects my business communication.

(Originally published on April 1, 2018 on Linkedin.)

It is no secret that facebook and Instagram have taken measures to censor male nudity, and has specific guidelines on what is considered permissible within their community standards. I might think it was fine if it wasn’t for seeing many images of women, entirely nude showing their genitals and having their nipples ‘covered’ with 2 Xes or stars. Yes, these are beautiful images of women, yet very much nude. Meanwhile, on my @theasianmale IG, I have my images pulled down within seconds of posting a grid of my nude photography. Yes, there is a double standard.

On facebook, I was banned for 7 days for posting a similar image of 2 guys embracing one another on an LGBT Artist group. Not only could I not post, comment or like on my personal profile, I also could not do anything on my Pages. I was frozen not able to do anything. This has been for many years, and I try to tread carefully by not showing any genitals. Now, I cannot advertise on facebook or Instagram. I have another photographer who has faced the same issues and was blocked for 30 days from posting.

Facebook for me offers the best place for interaction with my friends and fans, who are in my database of collectors. We interact and discuss on Messenger. It has affected my business and my belief that artists such as myself have limited channels to disseminate my work.

I know Linkedin is a place where people are in business, and maybe posting this rant might not be a place for this, but for me, art is my business and social media is vital, but this censorship is slowly suffocating me and others that have no ill intention but to showcase the beauty of the human male body, which is a part of our very nature and being.



9 thoughts on “Censorship of the arts: facebook and Instagram

  1. Been there, g … in what I and many Facebook users call “Facebook jail”. I feel you because it’s happen more than enough times to me for posting supposed nude photos on a (now closed/deleted) Facebook page of mine. That page featured (what I consider to be quite tame”) semi-nude male erotica depicting men wearing briefs or boxer underwear. Occasionally it would also feature a few “rear only” photos of men who were either putting on or taking off underwear and whose nude buttocks were hardly anything to take much notice of or could “offend” my target audience (males 18 years old and older).
    I’ve seen far, far more rear nudity and ass cheeks on men on other Facebook pages in the ten years I’ve been a Facebook user. Yet those users and/or their pages never seem to get blocked by Facebook. Then there’s the issue of Facebook’s algorithm which (I assume) looks at a particular photo of a male figure, assumes that the photo somehow depicts frontal nudity (even though the subject is wearing briefs!) or that the male model’s nude buttocks are spread wide or open (to show anus) or whatever. I don’t know how Facebook figures that scene but it does. Then Facebook determines that said photo is “in violation of Facebook’s Community Standards” and thus deems it “unsafe”. Result: Immediately punish the user with a block!
    I’ve been “punished” at least times in the three years I’ve had that Facebook page; from seven days, to two weeks, and finally with the last block (happening late last year) lasting for 30 days. It was frustrating in those first few days of my 30-day “jail time” but I quickly got over it because I was already fed up with Facebook Admin itself. I was more than annoyed with their screwed up and biased algorithm (or whatever they use) for detecting content violations, their ambiguous “community standards” policy (which usually seemed to apply to some users and not to others – people and pages whose content was much more in “violation” than my own. I didn’t like the fact that a blocked or banned FB user could not file a grievance to at least address the mistake made on Facebook’s part nor could that user have a chance to explain and show that the photo(s) which triggered the block/ban was NOT in violation of FB’s “community standards” as presently laid out. Facebook doesn’t care – yet seem to always find a way to push some message on one’s page to “boost a post” on the user’s page if that user just pays for it. Shameful tactic!
    Anyway, once I got out of “Facebook jail”, I decided to delete my page which celebrated [safe] male erotica – as well delete two other pages I owned which simply dealt with classic R&B music, Rock music, and their respective recording artists. I started a WordPress blog (‘Masculine Perspectives’) which has the same name as my old FB page and vowed never again to have a page on Facebook nor a blog anywhere else where censorship would be a problem.
    Thanks for listening and… all my best to your continued endeavors! 👍🏾😊

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on the matter… it is pretty much how I feel.

      There is no consistency in how they determine what is acceptable or not acceptable, and as someone had pointed out, how can they be the ones who decides what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for the people? How can they pose to have ‘community standards’ on such topics on artistic nudes of men and women.

      A good workaround, as suggested by another viewer was to create a toggle button for Safe and NSFW, so the user can decide if they want to see the images, much like how modelmayhem dot com has. It would make it a lot simpler and let the user make the choice. Zukerberg just reiterated that in the hearings that each person has a choice as to what is released to the public, so why can it not be the same in this case?

  2. I was going to suggest leaving Facebook but that probably isn’t practical for you. I don’t if there are other sites where you can conduct your business and showcase your art.

    How odd that FB is so quick to censor your art but they seem to be so slow in shutting down those Russian fake accounts.

  3. I did have a website which was like an online magazine called moxie, but the work involved was too much. I did show some of my beautiful nudes on there, along with other photographer’s works. Facebook and Instagram are the main social communication networks around where people actually write things.

    As for Russian fake accounts, I don’t know what the deal was… was there money involved? I imagine so….

    1. Yeah I read the article. And I do know about the penis festival in Japan. So different than conservative Hong Kong where I live. Nudity and sex are still taboo topics here.

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