Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Groundless, Ridiculous Nudity suspensions on Facebook

So here’s another issue of an Indonesian woman whose account was suspended for posting historic photos of her countrymen, many of these were photos of women showing their breasts. Those photos were posted as her protest to the recently concluded beauty pageant where women wearing traditional “kebaya” were censored (blurred out) “to protect the culture”. Kebaya is an attire that only covers the breasts and lower body. This move was made by Indonesian conservatives.
Here's the image of the censorship as broadcasted on TV.

Dea Basori, 23, questioned the censors and searched the net for traditional Indonesian attires. Some of those she found were topless photos of women wearing traditional attires. She posted the photos on facebook to counter the censors. “I did this to counter the censors,” she said. “Whose culture are you protecting?” she added. “Is their definition of culture a true reflection of it?"

But that’s just another story of an illogical, unjustified account suspension. You may read the full story here.

I also posted an old photo of topless girls in Barlig, Mountain Province taken in the early part of 20th century. They were doing the traditional back-strap loom weaving. After a few weeks, I received a warning from facebook that the photo was reported for nudity and explicit content.

Here's the photo I posted with the original caption, taken circa 1900:

Igorot girls loom weaving in Barlig, Mt. Province. Tiffany Williams photograph collection, University of Michigan.
I don’t know how facebook does its evaluation on reported nudities. Perhaps suspensions are automatically programmed. I do hope these will be changed as they are now facing several issues and also a court case when they banned an artist from France for posting nude artworks. Here's the story.

I don't think historic photos are offensive and should be taken as an educational material. But I believe, the problem does not lie with facebook. It lies with the people reporting these contents. I don’t know the kind of mindsets of people who seem to see mammary glands as sex objects.

Their perverted thinking is affecting and infecting a lot of people and I believe this is the reason for these reports. I hope facebook will put up a team of open-minded people to review these reports and separate nudities and sexually explicit contents from art, educational and historic images.