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‘We the Nipple’ Organizers Say Facebook Will Reconsider Nudity Policies Following Art Action in New York

#WeTheNipple Campaign.

COURTESY SPENCER TUNICK AND THE NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST CENSORSHIP

In response to recent campaigning and an action staged with photographer Spencer Tunick, the National Coalition Against Censorship said Facebook has agreed to convene a group—including artists, art educators, museum curators, activists, and employees—to consider new nudity guidelines for images posted to its social-media platforms.

The NCAC said it will collaborate with Facebook in selecting participants for a discussion to look into issues related to nude photographic art, ways that censorship impacts artists, and possible solutions going forward.

Facebook’s decision to reevaluate its nudity policies comes on the heels of a nude art action outside the company’s New York headquarters on June 2, when some 125 people posed naked in front of Facebook’s building as Tunick photographed them as part of the NCAC’s #WeTheNipple campaign, which called on Facebook to update its nudity rules.

In a statement, Tunick said of social-media platforms like Facebook and Instagram (which Facebook owns), “The work I’m allowed to post is fundamentally different from the work I make. To me, every pixelated nipple only succeeds in sexualizing the censored work. As a 21st-century artist, I rely on Instagram. It’s the world’s magazine and to be censored on it breaks my spirit.”

In April, the artist Betty Tompkins expressed similar sentiments regarding her temporary ban from Instagram. She told ARTnews at the time, “What I realized, which I don’t think I ever have before, is how embedded Instagram is in our professional life.”

In a statement announcing the prospect of a change in policy issued on Wednesday, the National Coalition Against Censorship said it “looks forward to working with Facebook to tackle the challenges of serving diverse communities and develop policies that recognize the value of one of their core communities: creative artists.”

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