December 7, 2011

Scary Boobs - I hope they’re not from g+.

There’s something about the female breast that seems to terrify both some users and the administration of our favorite social network. They’ve flagged a couple of my photographs and declined to reinstate them. What follows are a few thoughts about g+ policy and erotic images.
As you know g+ policy currently allows nudity in an artistic context and yet images continue to be flagged by users and the censoring of these images upheld by g+ when reviewed. The flagging, and g+ support of it, has a chilling effect on both the type and the quality of images that are posted. Artists and collectors would be right to ask: why take the time to post images that involve time and effort on the part of both the artist and the viewer when they are going to be defaced with an ugly black box.
As people who are posting thoughtful content are driven out by the censorship, increasingly the type of nude and erotic images seen on the network will be of the those that can be produced and distributed relatively instantly, with minimal investment or thought – and so the level of discourse becomes degraded and the ability to discuss meaningful points is lost.
What makes this particularly sad is that depictions of the body and eroticism are both so personal and so socially important. The ability to understand another person or culture is severely diminished when this information is removed. We’re left with a sort of gaping hole in our mental image that then becomes filled with anxieties, prejudices and assumptions.
We all bring to an issue like this our views and biases and I want to be clear about mine. I regard people’s images of the body and of erotic content, either those that are mental or ones that exists physically in the world, of being essential to understanding the human condition. The erotic image, either that of self or other and the way that people construct, collect and communicate this image is a subject of endless fascination for me and uniquely imbued with that feeling of pleasure we get when we see something that increases our understanding of the world and gives structure and sense to our experience.
The pleasures of structure and explanation and a desire for (at least the illusion of) permanency and order in my experience of the world is what leads me to produce images. It led me to study for a Doctorate in Sexology and it leads me to a particularly acute sadness when I see a social network, something that should be increasing human interaction and peoples knowledge of each other dropping black boxes on the very content that is key to both connection and understanding.
Anyway, there are some scary boobs out there; I hope they’re not the folks from g+. I’d like to think better of them.
Here are the two censored images:

December 6, 2011

File under: Banned

Two artistic nudes by Chinese artist Feng Lumin are now officially banned – rejected for sharing. Well, sort of. There's a certain lack of consistency. I have one album containing only his artistic nudes on G+ and the two paintings below are now persona non grata – at least there. I have another album that has images from my original post protesting censorship on G+ and one of these images is not flagged  – over there. Wherever there is.

If you dislike this form of censorship on G+, please sign the OGC petition in support of influencing Google to implement content controls. If we had better tools, you wouldn't have to come here to appreciate Feng Lumin's beautiful art.

December 3, 2011

The Nipple Police are at it – again

I'm getting really, really tired of people trolling my photo albums and flagging images. Whilst doing some end of the month archiving and reviewing posts, I see where two artistic nudes by Chinese artist Feng Lumin have been flagged...again.

I want to point out that I can freely post the second image below, while the first image gets flagged on G+. I'd like to see some gender equality common sense when it comes to nipples.

BTW, the artistic nude of the young woman is restricted in one album and I have requested yet another review, but the same image is unrestricted (after review) in another album.

Go figure...

If you think all this is rather downright silly, as I do, then please consider signing the Occupy Gplus Censorship petition.

November 27, 2011

Censoring Criticism?

This image protesting censorship on G+ was actually censored itself, and the corresponding account was disabled.

True, the original poster shared it without the censoring badges over the breasts. But still, dealing in this way with criticism is a pretty bad move.

When I posted the pre-censored version, it got flagged almost immediately and probably automatically. But I requested a review and it got unflagged again. Thank you, Google! If it were always this simple...

Let me decide

"Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too". Voltaire


They have the right to vote, make legal contracts, legally buy alcohol and even die for their country. Why should they be deprived of the ability to decide what they want to see?
Whether at some online community like Google Plus, on the television, at the museum ...

People are not being forced to view artwork at gunpoint. Every member of the public has the right to avert their eyes and not look at anything that offends them. They can always refrain from entering a gallery with an exhibition of "offensive" works.

Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place is bad.
It is unacceptable to censor art. Only thing we'll get by doing that is making it "underground". 

Isn't it better to keep everything completely accessible to the public, where people can see for themselves and decide is it "bad"? Don't we all love to have control in our hands?

Censoring legal content does not promote discussion, learning, dialogue, diversity, better understanding and discovering different cultures.

Censorship is not the answer. Content control is. Freedom of choice is what we need.

Think. Decide. Support us. Sign the petition here.

November 26, 2011

Contrasting artistic nudes

The painting on the left by Chinese artist Liu Yingzhao was contained within my album of 22 images in my OP on censorship (the first #occupygpluscensorship post). The image was quickly flagged and subsequently restricted from view by Google. However, after appealing for a review, the image was reinstated...although it took awhile. Then flagged again, appealed and reinstated again. Currently, it is still available (here) as one of 14 you are allowed to see out of the original 22 images.

The painting on the right by Di Lifeng, also a Chinese artist, has been banned – permanently. And by that I mean that my appeal was rejected. For the life of me, I wish I could discern any major difference between the two. Then, I could understand, if not agree. The best I can come up with is that Di's nude on the right is more, well, frontal in its depiction of nipples.

What do you think?

If you prefer uncensored art, please consider "signing" the Occupy Gplus Censorship (OGC) petition here. You can also +1 the petition on the OGC Page here.

November 25, 2011

Which world art heritage do you prefer?

This is the world's art heritage on Google Blogger. Go here to see the world's art heritage on Google G+. Okay, you're back. Now, which heritage do you prefer for real life sharing?

If you prefer uncensored art, please consider "signing" the Occupy Gplus Censorship petition at Or, you can also +1 the petition on the OGC Page at

Venus de Milo