No, it’s not the image that was used as the introduction image for this article. This one is allowed. The other images, however, will get us banned on Instagram and Facebook. There is a lot of debate about what’s allowed on these social media websites. Sometimes it’s not clear what’s allowed and what’s not allowed.
Instagram was launched in October 2010. Then it was only for those who owned an iPhone. When you used Android, you had to wait until 2012 before a native Android app was released. In the same year, Instagram was bought by Facebook for $ 1 billion dollars in stock and cash. Since then a lot has changed. There was something that didn’t change, however.
From the start, there is a love-and-hate-relationship between the LGBTQ+ Community and Instagram and Facebook. A few years ago news got out that LGBTQ+ accounts were banned from the feeds of the website. Some hashtags weren’t allowed anymore. Even the ones that had absolutely nothing to do with the LGBTQ+ Community. This website has a list of all the banned hashtags in 2019. Using these words leads to the thing we know as shadow ban. You can read more about this on a special Wikipedia page.
Facebook isn’t much different from Instagram. It makes sense since Instagram is part of Facebook. Yes, the claim that they want to offer a safe community is a good thing. However, there are artistic expressions that do include nudity in some form. Yes, the project Being Imaginative does show content that is related or even about sexuality. This project wants to close the gap between different types of creativity. Remixing the photos to be a form of art is one part of this project. Trying to step beyond boundaries will lead to certain images that are considered as both experimental and erotic. In the end, we consider it to be art. Why shouldn’t it be art? Because it contains nudity or even sexual expressions? If it’s so strict, why are musea all over the world filled with paintings of nude people? Even people that are having sexual intercourse? Take a look at this website: it’s all art because it’s called Fine Art America. This may not be the best example, because it’s a commercially-driven website. If you want something that has nothing to do with commerciality, take a look at this section of Wikimedia Commons. As you can see, these images on this section of Wikimedia Commons date back a long time ago.
Still, when posting any of these images on Instagram or Facebook, it will lead to one thing: a warning and maybe a permanent block. Posting images such as the one below will lead to the end of Being Imaginative on Instagram or Facebook.
Remember those days when you could post anything on Tumblr? Really anything! Yes, that was a problem. Because it was also the home of certain photos that are considered illegal. On this platform, people were able to post child pornography. Child pornography isn’t art. It never was, it never will be. Not in any form. Not even remixed. It goes without saying that a digital transformation of something that is child pornography isn’t the same as the images on this website. It never will be.
The Tumblr app was removed from the Appstore by Apple, because of child pornography. Apple had a damn good reason to do this. It led to a drastic measure, causing millions of digital artist who saw their work categorized the same as child pornography. Many artists were outraged. There wasn’t a thing you could do about it.
When the ban on explicit content was initiated (December 2018), it was nearly impossible to find other platforms you could use to post your mature content. One by one, all the major blogging platforms changed their policies to avoid any claims. That’s why the WordPress website that was in use for the previous project of Being Imaginative was too limited. Yes, WordPress does allow mature content, but it doesn’t really allow explicit content. Some of the images on this website are considered as explicit.
New platforms were launched, with limitations. Take for instance NewTumbl.com. This website offers the same options as the old fashioned Tumblr did, but there is no native app for iOS or Android. Daily Dot wrote an article about the options, but most of them are limited. Twitter is an option, but you can’t really do the same as you did before on Tumblr. The alternatives mentioned in the article by Beebom aren’t really alternatives. Not everyone feels like starting their own website, even when it’s on the WordPress platform. Not everyone will do the same as Being Imaginative did: start their own website.
So, you will have to wait a little bit longer, until there is a platform with the same possibilities as Tumblr or a blog platform that allows you to post anything you want. Just as long as it’s not child pornography.
This will get us banned on Instagram and Facebook
Yes, definitely. Even when we state it’s art. You might not agree. But that’s the beauty of art: there is always room for discussion.