16 Aug 2011

The censorship continues... on Facebook!

Today I arrived home to this message from a friend:

 "Got this message and no profile pic - "You uploaded a profile picture that violates our Terms of Use and this picture has been removed. Facebook does not allow photos that attack an individual or group, or that contain nudity, drug use, violence or other violations of the Terms of Use."  "

The image in question is no other than this:

created be myself, exhibited in an LGBT pride show, only to be removed this morning due to its provocative nature and is now the face of my very own censorship campaign Free Love created by Stephanie Torrance to rally support and raise awareness.

The message has shocks and saddens me but doesn't surprise me. Two of the supporters have had there images removed and warned by Facebook. The likely cause is complaint by other users deeming it too offensive for public viewing, (Or as FB puts it, 'attacks' other users.)

This morning went as smoothly as it possibly could, despite some peoples attempts to fire off abuse to me via FB last night (which was all documented). I dealt with everything in a very calm and professional manner, stuck to my original belief and firmly stood by my work. The outcome being my work was removed, as I failed to comply to the revised compromise set by the art centre staff. Who among other chopped and changed their minds about how they wanted to handle the situation and what pieces were actually deemed 'safe'. By moving work to 'less visible' wall negates the entire message of my work. I will not compromise on my beliefs nor will I admit that my work is dangerous.  I shall be adding all the detail to this later, as well as photos and conversations had discussing this matter.

As for this facebook matter, I'm stuck for where to go from here. It's obviously not something I wanted to happen but it has. The support has continued despite the images being removed and there are quite a few people who missed the show who want to see it. We might look at getting a alternative show at a small independent venue for those who want to join in, show work or come see some.

"I think the best thing in cases of censorship or things like this is to get as much media as possible."  - Kathy Acker.

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