Calling All Exhibitionists! Artist Wants Hundreds to Pose Naked in NYC Streets in Social Media Censorship Protest

What to Know

  • An artist is recruiting hundreds of New Yorkers to pose nude in the streets to protest social media censorship of art
  • Spencer Tunick is organizing the event, after previously organizing mass nude photo shoots all over the world
  • The event is planned for June 2, but the location has not been announced

Are you willing to strip bare to protest censorship on social media?

An artist has organized an event to challenge Facebook and Instagram’s “Community Guidelines” by organizing a large-scale nude photography shoot in New York City this June called #WeTheNipple.

Artist Spencer Tunick and the National Coalition Against Censorship are organizing to have hundreds of nude bodies "take a stance in the streets of New York City" against censorship of art on big social media platforms. The event is happening June 2, though specifics on the street location haven't been released.

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“I hope to make a new nude photographic artwork on the streets of New York City that challenges the censorship rules of Instagram and Facebook. A work that humanizes and decriminalizes the female nipple on social media and at the same time advocates freedom for male, female and transgender artists to share their art without consequence," Tunick said in a statement.

Tunick’s successful photographic career includes over 75 large-scale nude human installations shot all over the world, including one where 18,000 people posed nude in Mexico. Even with a checkmark-verified social media following, the photographer’s Facebook page was disabled in 2014 after posting a photo of nude women in Portugal which was apparently deemed not pixelated enough.

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He and other photographers often find their photos removed or their accounts deactivated due to censorship rules on Instagram and Facebook, he said.

In a statement on its website, the National Coalition Against Censorship said, “Banishing all photographic images of the nude human body from social media, even when some of these images are in the collections of the world's’ top museums, imposes an anachronistic regime of shame and censorship.”

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Instagram has continued to stand firm in its rules surrounding nudity, stating in its Community Guidelines, “We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”

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