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Swedish nude gets Facebook axe

The Local · 23 Mar 2011, 15:36

Published: 23 Mar 2011 15:36 GMT+01:00

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Danish performance artist Uwe Max Jensen was furious after Facebook removed a copy of Zorn's 1905 painting 'The Girl in the Loft' that he had posted to the social networking website along with several other paintings by the artist, who died in 1920.

"It's cultural imperialism if Facebook is going to determine what's pornography and what's art," Jensen told the Sydsvenskan daily.

The Dane has previously posted other images that contravene the American company's policy, and Facebook has now blocked Jensen from posting any further images to the site.

In 2005, Jensen was fined 2,000 Danish kroner (now $380) for urinating on a wall. The peeing demonstration was intended as a piece of public art demonstrating the transitory nature of existence.

Facebook's Swedish spokesperson, Jan Fredriksson, said the company had a clear anti-nudity policy, with members as young as 13-years-old using the site in countries all over the world.

Story continues below…

The Zorn painting had most likely been reported to an administrator, he said, who then had to decide whether to remove the image.

"It's quite an easy decision," Fredriksson told Sydsvenskan.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:12 March 23, 2011 by Frobobbles
Facebook also loves to strangle little baby rabbits
17:37 March 23, 2011 by Gabin
18:00 March 23, 2011 by eZee.se
No nudes allowed. It's in their site policy... and it is THEIR site.

While I can understand a urinating-on-the-wall-person *not* understanding that, I fail to understand why this is news.
18:12 March 23, 2011 by truthworthy
So much for freedom of speech? Or is that only used when it is offending Muslims?
19:06 March 23, 2011 by Zhorka
Damn imperialists!
19:15 March 23, 2011 by StockholmSam
The problem with this is that Facebook has deemed an Anders Zorn nude as offensive. It certainly is not pornographic. In fact, it is rather matronly. There is nothing wrong with the nude female (or male) form yet FB seems to think there is. This is a BIG problem because it leads to tremendous problems related to sexuality and gender. Yes, it is their policy, but perhaps it is a policy that public citizens should deem offensive. I believe the policy should be a bit more flexible and take into account the specific picture. Pornography is one thing, art is another.
19:16 March 23, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
...they just don't appreciate art!...
19:28 March 23, 2011 by zat_xela
Typical American puritanism...okay to show killing but not the nude human form.
19:30 March 23, 2011 by kshatriya
They allow more sexually suggestive material (pics of people) but not this!! clear failure of ability to see what is not even remotely porn.

stamp state
20:36 March 23, 2011 by DAVID T
some people get off on weird things
00:16 March 24, 2011 by Tanskalainen
It looks like she's digging in the refrigerator.
02:09 March 24, 2011 by eZee.se

Art is subjective... and clearly one of the mods at FB was a critic :) or couldnt recognize art when it...umm, poked him in the face :D


They were free to post that art up (freedom of speech), and as the site owners deemed free to take it down (again, freedom of their speech).

I don't hear death threats being made either way even though one person / public urinater feels offended. :))

This rule is pretty silly on FB because they really cannot police such a massive site with hundreds of millions of pictures. Some of my own (female) friends have "n!pple shots" on the FB pages (intentional and otherwise) and never got into trouble. Someone has to "flag" it as a nudie for the mods to have a look at it.
07:13 March 24, 2011 by Hauhr
Most of the comments here hit the nail on the head, that FBs policy is rigid whereas art is subjective. But this article briefly touches on a wider issue - the absurdity in the world when it comes to art. If we look at this article and think back over the last 12 months or so, we are to believe these days that art includes: Urinating on a wall, vandalising an underground train, faking a psychological breakdown... Does anyone remember when art was about paintings, clay sculptures and stuff like that?
08:06 March 24, 2011 by Rick Methven
I wonder if a picture of Michaelangelo's David would be banned?
10:22 March 24, 2011 by johnny1939
Time to ban Face Book!!! I used to be a member but resigned. I once made a comment re the American Health care law that I found it strange that federal money could not be used for abortions. I used no foul language or threats etc. and I got kicked off FB. I objected and got reinstated but voluntarily resigned. I think the site is dangerous on many levels and it does not matter how much they try to make it safe. In my case, I believe, that it was a right to life person that would not respect my personal opinion.
00:49 March 25, 2011 by eZee.se

While I agree that it was sucky of FB to do that to you, and like I said its too vast to police without someone reporting your post... the fact is, people join the site voluntarily, and do a lot of business via FB (I do) or get laid via FB, so it's not going to get any less popular anytime soon.
08:51 March 25, 2011 by Rebel
Many of the people on my facebook are neo-Pagan or Wiccans and they post tons of fantasy art that depicts nude or almost nude fairies, vampires, witches (the good looking sort) and sci-fi female images and I have never heard of any of these pictures taken down. O can assure you the naked Swede pic is far more tame than these very erotic images that are all over facebook.
17:21 March 25, 2011 by Spicetrader
I am a little surprised how many people think this matters. Can't we have some real news? Like how Lady Gaga ran out of toothpaste or something?
18:26 March 25, 2011 by Ron Pavellas
It's Facebook's site. They can make the rules, like them or don't. It cots nothing to belong and no penalty not to participate. I love Zorn's art. but don't need Facebook to appreciate it.
22:22 March 25, 2011 by Dijon16
You have the right to bear arms, but not to bare bodies. That is what irks me the most.

Remember the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction"? The country went into meltdown over one n!pple exposed for one second.

At exactly the same time, the US congress asked for an extra $126billion to further the invasion of Iraq.

That was EXTRA. And BILLION. With a capital B.

If Facebook really wants to protect innocent and impressionable 13 year olds, then they must ban all mentions and appearances on their site of guns, tattoos, alcohol and smoking.

If I posted a picture that showed people being gunned down during a bank robbery (just like they put to air on the national news every day), would FB allow me to show that?

14:16 March 26, 2011 by tetrahedron
I think that equating nudity with pornography is a dangerous message to send out to young people when, at the same time, real pornography can be accessed very easily over the Internet using any search engine.

Perhaps if nudity was accepted as normal and natural, there would be less interest in pornography.

People should learn to discriminate between what is degrading and what is not.
11:20 March 30, 2011 by bartschaff
That's a very good pointo by Dijon16:

If it's to 'protect' younger teenagers, FB should ban images of smoking, alcohol, and guns.

American society standarts are simply sick when it comes to sexuality, body, etc.
13:32 March 30, 2011 by Clarabow
Yes, it's odd. For some reason I don't find this offensive in anyway - but young women in suggestives poses with flesh hanging out in a way meant to excite sexually (some of the stuff young girls are posting - what are they thinking?) is OK? But if you want to look at porn I don't think you would stop by at Facebook - would you? Surely you can just click on those x rated sites for free or type in sussex and see what comes up? To me this is just a painting and a good one. I have seen similiar in the Royal Academy where school children will spend a morning as part of some class. I haven't noticed them covering up certain pictures. But then Facebook is not the Royal Academy!
20:48 July 22, 2011 by hdluke
As an American, I can the media's eliminating any nudity. But Europeans should understand it is a cultural thing. Even though some believe their is nothing wrong with the human form (God created it) most don't want to see it, having been taught from an early age that there is something "dirty" about it.
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