Facebook Agrees To Work With The NCAC After Anti-Censorship Photo Protest At Facebook's NYC HQ
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Image: Stephanie Keith, Getty Images
“Let’s not forget - this is an international issue and Facebook now dictates how the world views the female body as they brand it with shame masked as paternalism.” - Dawn Robertson, Founder of Grab Them By The Ballot
On Sunday, June 2, 2019, 125 people posed nude in front of Facebook New York City Headquarters. The Art Action #wethenipple called for a change in the policies regarding artistic female nudity.
Grab Them By The Ballot joined the initiative led by world-renowned nude photographer Spencer Tunick and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) after FB disabled the ad account and repeatedly banned our Director’s personal account in error.
At the protest, women covered our nipples with pasties of male nipples to highlight the anachronistic and misogynistic community standards and advertising policies of the social media giant who controls how much of the world views the female body by shaming and policing it.
We made great strides and Facebook has announced they will work with the NCAC to reconsider their nudity policies and cover with artists, museums and activists.
THIS SHOWS THE POWER OF PROTEST ART!
Please support our campaign as we move forward to challenge cultural narratives around women's bodies and encourage voter turnout to ensure gender justice in this country.
We’re a grassroots organization and only six months old but want to gear up for 2020 and mobilize a strong female following to show this country that we’re empowered and standing up together for body sovereignty and choice.
With the abortion bans taking place, the time is now and we have a chance in 2020 to make a difference. Not to mention, the very act of showing up in large numbers can create a cultural shift with regards to female sexuality and body related issues.
Facebook’s willingness to collaborate with the NCAC reflects the power of protest art. In drafting new policies, Facebook must address societal issues related to women’s bodies, sexuality and nudity as well as the intersection of art, activism and gender justice.
New York, New York - June 6, 2019
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has announced that Facebook is willing to collaborate with the group after an nude art action #wethenipple in New York City on June 2nd where 125 people posed nude in front of Facebook’s HQ.
The Art Action, organized by the NCAC and world renowned photographer Spencer Tunick, was covered by CNN and picked up worldwide.
Grab Them By The Ballot worked with the NCAC to promote the event Founder of the grassroots non-profit and Harvard Law educated, Dawn Robertson, says “this recent development is a reflection of the power of protest art and mobilization.” She is optimistic about the collaboration but has some additional concerns to add.
Grab Them By The Ballot, a nude photo campaign that aims to empower women and increase voter turnout in 2020, joined the art action to protest the behemoth's policies regarding artistic female nudity used for activism and the shaming of women's bodies. Frustrated by their own experience of censorship on the social media platforms and worried it could end their campaign, the grassroots non-profit eagerly got involved. Robertson posed in the photo shoot (details available upon request).
Robertson wants to see the policies loosened as well as be executed consistently with the context taken into consideration.
She wants to see warnings sent with clear instructions on how to fix a transgressions and a fair appeals process with actual people readily available. She adds “they need to put an end to the permanent disabling of ad accounts and use of an automated system addressed.”
“I was honored to be involved and respect that the NCAC and Tunick are primarily addressing the censorship and rights of artists. We are concerned about the censorship of the intersection of art, activism and the representation and treatment of female nudity. We want to create a cultural shift and normalize female sexuality and nudity.” says Robertson.
The NCAC said Facebook has agreed to put together a group including artists, art educators, museum curators, activists, and employees to consider new nudity guidelines for images posted to its social-media platforms.
“I’m a bit concerned and suggest that pro-female activists and sex-positive healers, educators and entrepreneurs be included in this group to address nude expression used outside of the art world as well as the censorship of sexually related written content. Facebook may still censor content related to women’s sexual education, healing, sovereignty and empowerment.” adds Robertson.
“This is about free artistic expression within the art world but also deep cultural narratives within our culture around women, nudity and sexuality.The vast amount of censorship and policing of bodies is directed towards women, trans folks and people of color. It's current policies are a direct reflection of the rampant sexism, racism and transphobia that Trump is encouraging in the USA” says Robertson.
She emphasizes that “all of this must be addressed when creating new standards without exception.”
Robertson is also concerned about the distinction between Facebook’s advertising policies and community standards and wants it to be addressed. “They are two different beasts and when advertising the censorship is far greater” she says.
Robertson adds “Regarding the advertising policies, most importantly, they should apply the general community standards regarding female artistic nudity- including the exceptions allowing nudity as a form of protest -to their advertising policies. Facebook could have an opt-out feature so users aren’t solicited unexpectedly as that is their apparent concern.
“The strict advertising policies limit activists, artists, educators and healers from profiting from their message and building an audience” adds Robertson. “We are selling female empowerment and Facebook also needs to have actual people looking at the context of ads” says Robertson.
“It’s important to note that there’s an option to advertise to only those who like your page which is akin to dispensing content to friends on a newsfeed. At the very least, we should be able to promote and advertise to this audience as they have essentially opted-in. It’s just as we can to our friends through our personal accounts.” Robertson adds.
Images and interviews available upon request.