Online: Censorship of artistic nudity in digital spaces

26 July 2019
Censorship due to nudity has become an issue amongst digital spaces making it harder for artists to share their work.
Image: Cover of the latest El Jueves issue. Credit: El Jueves / Twitter


Google Play added to the list of digital spaces censoring nudity. 

Google has taken down the El Jueves app, a digital reader for the satire magazine in June 2019, reported El Diaro 

Publication director, Guille Martínez told El Diaro that the removal of the app was due to the publication’s incorporation of nude images which Google considers to be sexual content.  

As stated in El Jueves’ Tweet, Google Play believes that the covers of El Jueves violate its content policy because it is ‘pornographic’ material”.  

Apps hosted by the Google store include several photographs and a description explaining the app and how it works. In relation to the El Jueves app, the photographs include covers of the magazine’s past issues, among which nude drawings sometimeappeared. 

The topic of digital spaces censoring nudity featured in Freemuse latest report Privatising Censorship, Digitising Violence: Shrinking Space of Women’s Rights to Create in the Digital Age 

Freemuse had an opportunity to talk to painter and visual artist, Stense Andrea Lind-Valdan whose often-censored works include images of nudity as they pertain to women’s body.  

After being temporarily barred from YouTube on 3 May 2019 for the third time, Lind-Valdan has been permanently banned from posting due to what the platform deems as violating community guidelines too many times. She claims that the controversy of the artworks depends on the way a viewer looks at it.  

I think that some people would definitely see my art as a kind of controversial art practice, but it’s not. This is also something about how you look at it and what knowledge do you have when you look at the work. And I think that there’s a lot of people who don’t know how to approach my kind of work or other people’s art like myself, Lind-Valdan told Freemuse.  

She further added that her purpose for creating art is simply to “have fun” and that she just enjoys the feeling she gets while painting.  

So, I have never been interested in provoking or being controversial or anything of that sort at all. And now I understand that people can look at my work and, in that way, and after all these experiences [..] there are so many things that I don’t really enjoy anymore because the fun has gone out of it, said Lind-Valdan.  

Censorship due to nudity has become an issue amongst digital spaces making it harder for artists and artistic community to share their work. Freemuse will continue to monitor and report on the cases of violations online.  

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