#WeTheNipple: The latest in Facebook and Instagram censorship protests

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The striking silent protest is one in a long line of protests about the censorship of female nipples on social media

Above video: Should Spotify censor their playlists?

Over 100 nude protestors flooded the plaza outside Facebook’s New York headquarters on Sunday to make a powerful statement about the platform’s censorship of female nipples.

Female protesters covered their nipples with stickers of male nipples - a nod to the hypocritical nudity guidelines used by Facebook and Instagram.

Protesters are demanding that Facebook and Instagram update their policies to allow the use of female nipples in the name of art.

The protest was conducted by the US National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) in partnership with photographer Spencer Tunick who is world-renowned for group nude photography.

The male nipple stickers were provided by talk show host Andy Cohen, artist Andres Serrano, actor-photographer Adam Goldberg, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Tunick himself.

“If Facebook and Instagram want to be platforms for artists, they need to modify their current overboard ban on photographic nudity, which harms artists who work with the human body, especially those exploring issues of gender and identity,” NCAC Director of Programs Svetlana Mintcheva.

We urge the company to adopt an art-friendly policy developed with the help of a group of global stakeholders, such as arts advocates, historians, curators and artists.

In 2010, NCAC successfully challenged YouTube to change their community guidelines to allow for “artistic nudity” after the platform removed the visual art of Amy Greenfield due to female nudity.

#FreeTheNipple

Opposition to the female nipple ban on social media has reverberated greatly over the last five years, helped in part by the #FreeTheNipple movement.

Outrage was sparked in late 2018 when social media platform Tumblr announced new guidelines that would rid the site of “female presenting nipples” among other things.

Facebook copped backlash in May for disabling a Baker’s Delight campaign for showing women holding buns over their breasts.

Bakers delight
The banned breast cancer awareness campaign featuring Kate Murray (right).
The Feed

Fifty-two-year-old Kate Murray, one of the women featured in this year’s campaign, was aghast at the platform’s ban.

“I’m insulted and bemused as to why Facebook would ban something so beautiful, compassionate and honest,” she told SBS News. “This campaign is nothing but good.”

Facebook and Instagram have not responded to the protest at the time of publishing.

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