Facebook is a monster. With billions of users world wide it would seem that the social media platform has conquered the online space and rules it all. However recent events may suggest otherwise Facebook’s no stranger to controversy when it comes to their policy regarding nudity. Last week for the first it ran up against the mainstream journalistic community and a national leader. This over the deletion of an iconic photo from the Vietnam era and subsequent ban of the journalist who kept reposting it, because it violated the nudity policy.
The backlash was swift and Facebook retracted the ban. now there is a call for some accountability and transparency from Facebook regarding its policies.
“I appreciate the work Facebook and other media do to stop content and pictures showing abuse and violence,” the prime minister wrote. “But Facebook is wrong when they censor such images.” Removing such photos, the Norwegian PM said, is a curb on freedom of expression and amounts to the social network “editing our common history.”
Facebook’s no stranger to controversy when it comes to their policy regarding nudity. The policy has run afoul of breast feeding mothers and breast cancer survivors in the past. Artists, women’s advocates, photographers and even mayors have had photos deleted and been threatened with account deletion or had their accounts disabled. Many naturists and nudists have been subject to similar bans and deletions for posting images of simple nudity and clothes free life. Still some naturists, nudists and other who live clothes free persist in using Facebook because as I heard one person say recently “everyone is there.” Everyone is there. Facebook is behemoth for sure, but is everyone there or did Facebook convinced the general public that everyone was there. So everyone went there because “everyone is there” so now everyone is there. Circle argument I know but stick with me. Maybe not everyone is there because reports suggest that Facebook is genuinely concerned about looking millennials and young ers users to other social media platforms like snap chat.
The question that comes to mind for naturists nudists and clothes free living folks is this can you defeat a monster by feeding the monster. In my opinion there will never be enough of a critical mass of naturist/nudist/clothes free users or social outcry for Facebook to change it policy regarding simple nudity. That just doesn’t work for their current business model of collecting big data and bundling to sell to advertisers and others. Yes if you weren’t clear that is why Facebook provides its service for free. You agree that in return for their service they can track your behavior online compile it and sell it.
So what should we do? Well this writer been clear in his opinion that we should look elsewhere to gather online and not feed the monster. However I recently discovered that nudist and naturists were doing the opposite. Because “everyone is there” they connecting on Facebook using secret groups with secret handshakes and all kind of member procedures. Ok maybe no secret handshakes. The interesting thing about these secret groups is some of the people running them are the same people who strongly proclaim they have nothing to hide. Yet they hide behind secret digital doors together while feeding the monster. The irony of it all. If you feed the monster then don’t be surprised and don’t complain if it bites your head off. I suspect that in addition to buying into the everyone is there myth, some people are there because it is the most familiar interface and like many people of a generation they rather not have to learn new systems. Besides that Facebook has put it all together all right there in one place.
Until or unless the nudist naturist and clothes free communities develop enough social or economic clout to have Facebook reconsider its broad brush policy on nudity we would do well to stop feeding the monster or at least put it on a diet making our footprint as small as possible with simple pages that link out to other online presence. Though that can be a problem as well since Facebook routinely ban users for linking to things is considers inappropriate.
So what do you think how should naturists and nudists relate to Facebook if at all?