Fight Back Against Social Media Censorship W/ This New Initiative
In the past few years, nudity on social media has been making some headlines. From Instagram’s war on the nipple to Facebook deleting pictures of artwork, it seems like every social networking app is on a mission to make sure people are fully clothed and completely SFW. And while it’s nice to not have an Instagram feed filled with dick pics–unless that’s what you’re into, we’re not judging!–this idea is especially divisive when it comes to art.
What does it say about free speech when historic artwork is taken down because it shows the female anatomy?
In order to combat and track social media censorship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) founded Online Censorship. The website, co-created with Visualizing Impact, is a hub for people to report when their posts are censored on any social media site; from Facebook to Google + to Twitter. In collecting data of these instances, the EFF hopes to further understand why we’re being censored.
“The data we collect will allow us to raise public awareness about the ways these companies are regulating speech,” Jillian York, EFF’s Director for International Freedom of Expression, said in a statement. “We hope that companies will respond to the data by improving their regulations and reporting mechanisms and processes—we need to hold Internet companies accountable for the ways in which they exercise power over people’s digital lives.”
The idea for the site was thought of after an event in 2012 when Coldplay posted a link to a music video for their Pro-Palestine song, “Freedom for Palestine,” on Facebook. Eventually, the post was taken down as thousands of users reported it as “abusive” or “inappropriate.” This epitomizes the problem with censorship enacted by social media corporations–it’s often due to an angry crowd, rather than something which is actually inappropriate.
Who knew that a Coldplay song could actually lead to something that pushes the art world–and the Internet landscape–forward?
Images via Left Bank Mag, Manet.org and GustavKlimtPaintings.org.