Writer’s warning: the following blog post contains content that may be offensive to some people. Especially to those who are part of Google Blogger or Facebook.
Let’s get naked.
No really, if you are part of Blogger or Facebook, you may be in trouble just saying it much less posting a picture of it.
A couple of weeks ago, my blog post was about an email that I received from Google that they were changing their policy regarding nude pictures in any of their blogs. As I mentioned at that time, I never had any nude pictures in any of my blogs. However, for some reason, just writing about it triggered some sort of notification from Google to send out an email to me regarding their policy change that they were going to make to their service. I tried to justify how their system worked or how it might have worked.
Well, a few days later, I received the following email from Google:
Dear Blogger User,
This week, you received an email telling you about some changes we were
making to the Blogger Content Policy. In that email, we announced a change
to Blogger’s porn policy stating that blogs that distributed sexually
explicit images or graphic nudity would be made private.
We’ve received lots of feedback about making a policy change that impacts
longstanding blogs and the negative impact on individuals who post sexually
explicit content to express their identities.
We appreciate the feedback. Instead of making this change, we will be
maintaining our existing policies (http://www.blogger.com/content.g).
What this means for your blog:
Commercial porn will continue to be prohibited.
If you have pornographic or sexually explicit content on your blog, you
must turn on the adult content setting
(https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/86944?hl=en) so a warning will
If you don’t have sexually explicit content on your blog and you’re
following the rest of the Blogger Content Policy
(http://www.blogger.com/content.g), you don’t need to make any changes to
Thank you for your continued feedback,
The Blogger Team So, overall, Google backtracked their policy and decided to keep their existing policy in place. However, I have yet to receive that email that says “Oops, your blog does not contain any graphic images so we made a mistake. We are extremely sorry for our mistake. Forgive us please.” However, things with Facebook are much more wishy-washy. They have updated their “Community Standards” with generalizations that could be interpreted in many different ways. They don’t make clear what is really pornographic except to say that if it involves a minor then it is removed otherwise it may be more discretionary behavior. Over the past few weeks, I have reported several graphically explicit images. Some of them were deleted by Facebook, however, most were said not violate their “Community Standards”. So, why are some deleted and others kept up? I believe this has more to do with who is checking the pictures rather than general “Community Standards”.. in other words, the pictures taken down are more subjective than an overall takedown of all pictures. I believe that this should be an all-or-nothing policy: either take down all nude images or leave them all up. This would certainly create many problems, because everybody have different value systems. This brings me to another issue: just mentioning nudity can be a problem. As one of my friends found out, she was reported to Facebook for just the mere mention of nudity, without any pictures involved. Apparently, one of her friends has different standards than my friend does. Since I never saw the post, I cannot say what this post said, but it may have offended someone on her friend’s list. So let’s see: Blogger won’t let me talk about nudity and thinks I have it on my blog and Facebook will allow reports on just talking about nudity, but allows nudity at its own discretion. Do we see a multiple standards here? What is offensive to some are ok to other people. Here are a couple of more examples of the past that may either offend people or maybe not even bother them. Example #1: A few months ago, the magazine “Paper” had a rather graphic pictorial of Kim Kardashian in its magazine. Since this magazine had full body nudes of her, I would have expected that this would have been shrink-wrapped to protect anyone under 18 from picking up this magazine. No such luck as this magazine had no wrapper whatsoever and the cover itself was rather graphic as well. It might be said that these pictures are artistic in nature rather than pornographic, but this is more opinion and a matter of taste. Still, it shows a full naked body and should have been wrapped no matter what. Example #2: A few years ago, the magazine “New York” ran a multi-page pictorial of actress Lindsay Lohan recreating the final photoshoot of Marilyn Monroe. The cover along with the pictures inside was of a graphic nude nature, but like example #1 could also be considered art rather than nude. Again, the magazine was readily available to anyone as this magazine was not shrink-wrapped either. So here we have to graphic nude magazines, neither wrapped, and both readily available to any customer who wants to purchase them. However, to some, these might be just considered art and not any type of pornography. Let’s review all this. What is nudity and what is art is a subject to opinion. However, I believe that if someone is nude in a picture it doesn’t belong in an unwrapped magazine nor does belong in an open space like Facebook or Google’s Blogger service. But everyone seems to blur the lines of what is ok and what is not acceptable. It seems that what is acceptable is trash to others even if nudity is mentioned, not even shown. Overall, doesn’t all this violate people’s first amendment rights? However, I can never picture the founding fathers taking nude selfies of themselves or people like Martha Washington winding up naked in the latest issue of “Common Sense”. If only the founding fathers saw the world today, they may have been writing a very different first amendment, but then again maybe they had that stuff back then, but it was never documented anywhere because they were embarrassed by it. We will never know what those founding fathers did back then. Maybe we are better off that way.