Friday, August 4, 2017

FACEBOOK BANNED AN ICON OF PHOTOGRAPHY FROM ITS NETWORK





About a year ago, Facebook eliminated a post by Norwegian journalist Tom Egeland.  He showed seven photographs which have influenced the history of warfare.  One of the photographs was the famous Leica photograph by Nick Ut, commonly referred to as “Napalm Girl.”  The photo shows a naked Vietnamese girl, her body burned by napalm and in the background a village in flames.

pf_nik_ut_foto_vietnam

Facebook not only eliminated the contribution Egeland made,  they also banned him from its pages.  They eliminated one of the most famous icons of photo journalism because it violated the company's ban of nude pictures.  Facebook referred to its community standards:

"Facebook follows strict rules against sharing pornographic content as well as any sexual content when minors are involved.”

Obviously Facebook blindly followed their rather puritanical attitude, totally ignoring the initial purpose of the posting by Egeland and its publisher, the daily “Aftenposten”.  This policy has quite often led to considerable criticism of Facebook, especially if images of definite value have been eliminated and the posters barred from posting for various lengths of time.  The criticism Facebook received was quite substantial and one would think that it might have led to some changes.  But to no avail.

It is all the more surprising that just recently Facebook considered another photograph, which definitely showed nudity, as not violating their standards.  Several members of Facebook, realizing the hypocrisy involved and complained to Facebook about the nudity in that pictures, only to be informed that Facebook considered it okay.

 

In an open letter to Facebook, a reader responded and asked the question if the prudish Zuckerberg is ever able to do serious journalism.

Obviously, journalism had little to do with Facebook’s decision.   They blindly follow their antiquated, puritanical standards, unless an advertiser is involved.  The many readers, including myself, that brought the hypocrisy to their attention weree informed that …

“We reviewed the share you reported for displaying nudity and we found it doesn’t violate our community standards.”

Apparently an icon of photojournalism does violate those community standards, but a badly lit and posed, amateurish photograph posted by a paying advertiser does not.  Hypocrisy at its finest.

To be fair, Facebook recently has made a few changes.  They now consider well established works of art, which do depict nudity, as acceptable, like the Venus de Milo, Michelangelo's David etc.

Why is this even an issue?  Historically, the human form has fascinated artists probably more than any other subject. Therefore it should come as no surprise that the same fascination has extended to photography as well.
 
While photography has generally been accepted as a valid art form, photography of the nude to this day is struggling with that recognition.  In the view of many, it is still looked upon as sleazy and objectionable, even harmful.  No such objections exist when it comes to paintings and sculptures.  People regularly visit art galleries.  No objections are generally voiced to see nude art there.  Public spaces often display nude sculptures, no objections there either.  Yet nude photographic art is still widely rejected.

matisse_culottes
From a recent Matisse exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
Objectionable?

One argument that is often made is that nudity is supposedly harmful to children.  I am a member of MIA, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I regularly see groups of school children visit the place, as a matter of fact, they regularly have a special children’s day. There are no restrictions as to which areas of the museum are open to the children, including the photography exhibits. Apparently there is no potential harm to children in a museum or in public places, yet nude photographic art is still widely rejected.  Why?


For other articles on this blog scroll down in the column to the right to BLOG ARCHIVE

To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

All ads present items of interest to Leica owners.


___________________________________________________________________________


                                  www.classicconnection.com                                     


      www.eddycam.com 
                       
      


Buy vintage Leica cameras from 
America's premier Leica specialist 

                          
 http://www.tamarkinauctions.com/            http://www.tamarkin.com/leicagallery/upcoming-shows




Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography



11 comments:

  1. This post should have a warning that its content is NSFW and also potentially harmful to children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is it potentially harmful to children?

      Delete
    2. Children should not be exposed to nudity.

      Delete
    3. That does not answer the question, but I am not surprised. I have had the same experience numerous times in the past. People are very quick to point to nude images being harmful to children, but then fail to come up with a valid answer.
      If any of these posts are not safe for work (NSFW) depends on the attitude of the workplace in regard to art. I definitely reject the assertion that any of these images are potentially harmful for children. We are talking about the human form here, not some pornographic distortion of it. Why is it that photography is always handled differently in this regard than other forms of art. As I mentioned in the article, is anybody requesting museums to post warning signs for their exhibit’s that show images or statues depicting the human form? Are such sculptures in public places required to do the same? I am a member of MIA, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I regularly see groups of school children visit the place, as a matter of fact, they regularly have a special children’s day. There are no restrictions as to which areas of the museum are open to the children, including the photography exhibits. Apparently there is no potential harm to children in a museum or in public places, why should this blog be any different?

      Delete
    4. Are you denying that nude images are harmful to children? Children are easily exposed to pornography and other deviant depictions of the human body.

      Delete
    5. Are you suggesting that any of the work shown in this article is pornographic in nature?

      Delete
    6. I never said that.

      Delete
    7. Then why do you want a warning on this site because the content might be harmful to children?

      Delete
    8. By the way, are you asking for the same warnings at museums and other places that depict the human form by way of paintings, sculptures...?

      Delete
    9. It's not the photographs here that are harmful to children, it is the puritanical, out-of-touch-with-this-world attitude of some individuals and parents that puts children into a utopian environment that has little connection to reality. Then, when these children enter the real world, they often have difficulties to cope with reality.

      Delete
  2. I can't believe that Facebook is incapable of distinguishing between valid photojournalism and objectionable photographs.

    ReplyDelete