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Dozens strip down outside Facebook office to protest nudity ban


Facebook’s policies on nudity are encroaching on the creative process, some artists say.

James Martin/CNET

Despite Facebook’s Community Standards making certain allowances for nudity, some artists say that the policies are preventing them from sharing their work online.

On Sunday, artist and photographer Spencer Tunick created a nude installation outside of Facebook and Instagram’s New York office with the help of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). Dozens shed their clothes, laid in the street and used nipple cards to cover their genitalia. In a tweet describing the performance piece, Tunick said male nipple cards covered female presenting nipples and male nipple cards covered all the participant’s genitalia.

“The nudity ban is punishing for photographers and particularly harms artists whose work focuses on their own bodies, including queer and gender nonconforming artists. It also affects museums and galleries that have difficulty promoting photography exhibitions featuring nudes,” Christopher Finan, NCAC Executive Director said in an open letter to Facebook Sunday.

The NCAC’s campaign, #WeTheNipple, calls for Facebook and Instagram to make an exception to their nudity restrictions to allow for art in the medium of photography. The campaign has support from more than 20 US and international organizations, museums and art institutions as well as hundreds of artists.

Instead of a ban, Finan suggests creating the ability for users to set filters and blocks to prevent nudity, instead of Facebook deciding for everyone.

Facebook and the NCAC didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. 

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