Any successful photographer (or sculpter, painter, etc) will agree that networking plays a huge role in broadening your audience. In the age of the internet, there are a plethora of available outlets to satisfy this need. But what happens when your work involves nudity? Some websites allow it, and some do not, and each has its own way of handling the subject. Below is a brief, and in no way exhaustive, list of some of the more popular networking websites that artists use and weither or not they allow content with nudity:

  500px
Nudity Allowed
  Deviantartc_64 DeviantArt
Nudity Allowed
Flickr_64   Flickr
Nudity Allowed
  Stumbleupon_64 StumbleUpon
Nudity Allowed
  Twitter_64 Twitter
Nudity Allowed
  Tumblr_64 Tumblr
Nudity Allowed
  new-ebay-icon eBay
Nudity Allowed
  Behance_64 Behance
Nudity Allowed
  Blogger_64 Blogger
Nudity Allowed
  Facebook_64 Facebook
Nudity NOT Allowed
  google_plus_wallpaper-30 Google+
Nudity NOT Allowed
  Myspace_64 Myspace
Nudity NOT Allowed

As you can see, most of the websites above allow nudity. Now keep in mind that “nudity” is NOT the same as “sexually explicit” or “pornography” (never has been, never will be…I don’t care what anyone’s personal beliefs are here, there are hundreds of years of history to back this up). Some websites clearly define in their Terms of Service where exactly they draw the line on what is and is not acceptable. DeviantArt is one such website, detailing that nudity is allowed but that erections, physical sexual interaction of the genitalia, or sexual lubricants are prohibited. Other websites, like 500px, Behance, and Tumblr use a much broader approach in that content is flagged as “NSFW” (Not Safe For Work…a generalized and adopted term that basically referes to any content that would be frowned upon if you were to view it in a typical American office environment).

While I don’t agree with the “NSFW” method, mainly because of the prudish mentality that it encourages, I do see the reasoning behind websites using this method of content tagging or filtering. It gives them free reign to just blanket over various types of content without any clear definition as to what is or is not acceptable. That being said, I would much rather see a website utilize this (VERY simple) method than to completely stifle and alienate a potential user base.

And that is exactly what Facebook, Google+ and Myspace have done! I know that most people probably couldn’t care less about Myspace these days, but thought I’d include it here since they did a recent relaunch. What are these three networks so afraid of really? Each of these websites strictly forbid nudity, and worse still is that they all lump nudity in with pornography or sexually explicit content. Thats quite the insult to any artist that works with the nude form and there have been little to no answers as to why these websites take this hardline stand.

My Facebook page is clearly marked as 18+ in the page settings, so Facebook has some form of age filtering capabilities in place, though it would seem that its only really used for pages that relate to alcohol. Why not take the next step and apply the already in place age restrictions to user profiles or photos/videos? Facebook really only stands to gain by making this logical step forward with the massive increase to ad revenue such an action would produce.

Google+, while it may have failed to be the usurper of Facebook’s dominance in the social media domain, has found itself praised to no end as an outlet for creative types and artists. UNLESS THERE IS NUDITY! Google’s restriction on nudity in the G+ community strikes me as totally bizarre,  given the fact that google is the single leading referrer to all kinds of “adult” material with simple nudity being among the tame. Granted that G+ does not have any kind of age filter in place anywhere on the service, which they really should given some of the content I’ve seen published there.

And Myspace, well like I said, who cares about myspace anymore? But the fact remains that there is no stated reasoning behind not allowing nudity in posted content.

 

 

Thats my rant of the day, if you’ve found an excellent networking outlet for you work that contains nudity, please share your experiences!

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