Facebook has a well-deserved reputation for blocking innocent content — while often allowing far worse posts to remain active. That includes numerous instances of the company censoring artistic nude photos, and even images depicting nude statues. That’s why a group of activists stripped naked this week outside of Facebook’s New York offices, launching a campaign called #WeTheNipple to encourage the social media giant to relax its restrictions.
The group, called the National Coalition Against Censorship, said that Facebook and Instagram’s rules regarding nudity go beyond simple safety measures, and instead actively stifle artists from expressing themselves.
“Banishing all photographic images of the nude human body from social media, even when some of these images are in the collections of the worlds’ top museums, imposes an anachronistic regime of shame and censorship,” the group wrote. “We ask Facebook and Instagram to remove that mantle of shame and update its community guidelines/standards so to allow for artistic creativity to thrive.”
Of course, there need to be some rules in place to police nudity on the world’s largest social media platform. But at the same time, the company’s artificial intelligence needs to do a much better job of differentiating between art and genuinely offensive content. It’s a tricky position to be in, but it’s one that Facebook wanted — so if it ever wants to stop blocking innocent people, it’s an issue the company will need to figure out.
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