Facebook Sensors the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume
Due to infringement to Facebook's "community standards" the social network giant removed a 1940's image from the museum's site and disabled their account for 24 hours. This marks another chapter of censorship for Facebook, who only last summer censored a Gerhard Richter nude on the Pompidou Center's page. The standard seems, particularly to artists, museums, and cultural consumers to be unbalanced and even potentially destructive.
Facebook allows for images of nude sculptures and paintings but not photographs. First, we are left to wonder why allow some representations of the unclothed figure and not all? In what to Facebook must seem to be a Pandora's box we have to follow-up and ask if Facebook is indeed so omnipresent and so global, then how could this single company aim to represent and regulate a single "community." If they wish instead to make the community both singular and global then we need to ask and evaluate its ethics.
When it comes to the figure, the nude, and art it would seem that institutions of merit, history, and standard should be the leading voices of taste and even acceptability. With the world at our fingertips, and imagery savory or not also therein, perhaps Facebook should indeed allow these leaders of culture to display the human form. Perhaps museums should be among the leading voices of the visual aesthetics of Facebook's "community standard."
The body is not an object of shame, but certainly it can be. One could argue that advertisements are not only more omnipresent in our lives than art but that they also offer more suggestive, degrading, even lude depictions of figures- female and male. Why allow one in our community and not the other? Why allow the glorification of the hollow shell of seduction and not the celebratory vision of the body through art? When it comes to shaping the world view on the body, something we all have, it seems that our cultural leaders are among the best to guide the future "community standard."
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