For years, I've been dealing with pointless censorship on art sites and art communities regarding artistic nudity and nude studies. And I know I'm not the only one.
I was told a personal website is the perfect way to express yourself and share your art without having to comply with sexist misogynistic censorship that will only attack nipples if they identify as she/her.
So time to post boobies!
Not to play the victim but I've been censored or striked by bots on pretty much all art sites I've joined even when I was following their guidelines.
No, no! I promise you I was truly following them!
You read that right! The art site that's notorious for storing a large amount of fetish and pornographic content took action against my art.
One day I checked my inbox and saw that half my gallery (to be precise all my drawings of women, which was up to 75% of my gallery back then) had been flagged as mature/explicit content and several of my illustrations got forcefully hidden under a mature filter without me being able to remove that.
I complied and crossed fingers, expecting not to have that happen to me again.
Wrong. It happened again and I couldn't even dispute the forced mature filters censoring my work nor the false flags. I was very upset because I already marked as mature any picture that contained nudity or was ideologically sensitive, as per DeviantArt's Terms of Service.
You may be wondering what did I post that was almost taken down and granted me warning notifications not just once, but twice.
This image below was the most controversial drawing flagged twice. Get ready for the most sinful, the most NSFW illustration you've ever witnessed!
I kid you not, that poorly rendered fanart of Disney's Jasmine got me in trouble for being allegedly 18+.
Later in 2018 I got several drawings and paintings flagged and automatically hidden under mature content filters afain.
Nowadays I either avoid uploading anything that contains nudity to DeviantArt or I simply hide everything under mature filters, even if just an ankle is showing.
Well... Where do I even begin?
Above I embedded the YouTube videos (part one posted in January 2020 and part two in February 2021) where I talk about the Team Amino bot.
Long story short, when I was an Art Amino curator (back when there were 500k members) I got a strike that suspended my account for 24 hours and a threat of being banned from posting watercolour blob nipples.
These are the General Amino Guidelines written by the app developer Narvii Inc. regarding artistic nudity, if you are curious:
The image that granted me a strike was a drawing of a woman surrounded by flowers and a galaxy background with her lower body covered and breasts exposed.
I emailed Team Amino because my immediate appeal to the strike was rejected without even being reviewed and, if I recall correctly, it took them a week to reply to me only to tell me it was their fault and they were sorry but they weren't removing the strike from my moderation history.
Do you think it's bad?
Hell, no! I was lucky to get a response and an apology. Some of my pals weren't this lucky.
A team mate that was a leader back in 2018 got a strike for allegedly sharing pornographic. It was the bot, obviously. What happened was that a troll was posting explicit pornographic images on Public Chats and the leader reported it on our moderator chat by sending a screenshot and link to user. Guess what? The bot didn't detect the original files shared by the troll (we had to take them down manually ourselves and ban the troll) but detected the screenshot sent to a private mod chat and striked the leader for doing their job.
Ah, Instagram. The almighty photo sharing app, perfect for visual content but imperfect for artists because of many reasons. Among those reasons we find their vague nudity criteria and random disabling of content that features female bodies. Sexism again.
I've never had a post taken down on Instagram (yet) but I can proudly announce the Instagram bots have detected a couple of my pencil sketches shared on stories and deleted them.
We all know a pencil outline forming the shape of some hips is menacing to society, unlike those literal pornographic accounts posting cropped photos from 18+ videos.
I personally don't understand the ingrained fear many feel towards nudity. It's only a body, skin on top of muscle, a natural thing we all possess.
As an artist, I've always appreciated the beauty of the human form. Muscles and limbs in different poses create the kind of beauty that moves that's very challenging to capture in a drawing. Humans are fascinating works of art.
When discussing this topic with other artists, I've come to the conclusion we've all been hit by this at one point of our artistic journeys. I find extremely sad that in a world and society that claims to value freedom of expression, female nipples are still seen as corruptive and morally wrong.
I'd love to read your thoughts and experiences about censorship in art. Please let me know in the comments what you think.
A mandatory gallery of art with titties as a main theme.
Congrats if you made it this far! ❤️