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October 20, 2021
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Facebook is reportedly reconsidering its ban on nudity after groups of naked people protested outside its offices

The National Coalition Against Censorship says that Facebook has agreed to reconsider its artistic nudity policies.The news comes after a group of over 100 naked protesters gathered for the #WeTheNipple protest on Sunday.Several artists say that Facebook’s policies have prevented them from sharing their work on the platform.Dawn Robertson of Grab Them By The Ballot said the protest was “very empowering,” though she has some concerns about the policies going forward.The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) said in a press release that Facebook has agreed to reconsider its artistic nudity policies following a major protest outside of its New York City offices on Sunday. The art installation, dubbed #WeTheNipple, involved more than 100 nude protestors holding giant stickers of male nipples as a way to fight Facebook and Instagram’s policies on nudity, especially when it comes to the female body. Several artists say the nudity policies prevent them from sharing their work on the platform. In the new press release, the NCAC writes that Facebook’s policy team “has committed to convening a group of stakeholders including artists, art educators, museum curators, activists, as well as Facebook employees, to examine how to better serve artists, including considering a new approach to nudity guidelines.” The NCAC says it will collaborate with Facebook to convene the group.Sunday’s protest was organized by the NCAC in collaboration with Spencer Tunick, who photographed the art installation. Members of Grab Them Bu The Ballot, an organization dedicated to empowering women and increasing voter turnout, also took place in the event. Dawn Robertson, the founder of Grab Them By The Ballot, said that she felt the protest was successful and peaceful. “I thought it was so well orchestrated and executed,” Robertson told us. “There’s a lot of connection and bonding because we all standing there naked. It was incredibly powerful being right in front of Facebook’s offices […] it felt very empowering.”Robertson’s campaign photos for Grab Them By The Ballot often contain nudity as a way “to celebrate the female body,” and she says she’s seen many of her posts taken down due to Facebook’s nudity guidelines.”To me, it represents just archaic, Dark Ages, fear of the female body and female sexuality and nudity,” she said of the policies. Robertson said that she often has trouble speaking with a representative when trying to appeal something she says she hopes Facebook will address when reconsidering the policies.”The most important thing they [Facebook] can do is to have actual people involved in the process from start to finish who are transparent and readily available,” she said.  Robertson is optimistic about the upcoming meetings Facebook is reportedly holding regarding potential policy changes, especially since artists, art educators, museum curators, and activists will be present. However, she also hopes they expand the meeting to consider other topics where artistic nudity remains important. “I’m a bit concerned that they don’t mention having any feminist groups or sex-positive healers, educators or entrepreneurs to address artistic expression as well as written content,” she said. “Facebook may still censor content related to women’s sexual education, healing, sovereignty, and empowerment.”

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