Arts & Culture - Art

2007 - 2022

Fake News from Facebook and Instagram

Artist Jannica Honey has been photographing the female body for years. She started photographing women in a new way after her own experience of the process of having IVF. She took pictures of women in nature every full and new moon to mirror the small moments when it was possible to conceive.

The series was called When the Blackbird Sings.

But the platforms of Facebook and Instagram started deleting her posts and banishing her for “breaching guidelines”. This was all about social control and control of how the female body could be depicted. This was censorship and the creation of fake news by algorithm.

Bodies that were older, wrinkly, had hair or scars were banned, despite these platforms thriving on sexual content which meets their approval.

Honey now thinks her ‘shadow-ban’ may have been lifted, but the battle against censorship and who controls representation continues.

BBC Scotland’s new arts programme Loop told her story …

Comments (7)

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  1. Clare Galloway says:

    Yes; my art has been censored for years on both Facebook and Instagram, until recently when I was thrown off Facebook permanently.

    My paintings have distinctly simple and abstracted use of the nude human body, and have always (I’m over 30 yrs into an intensive drawing and painting practise) been about innocence, truth, sentience, the felt world, the intuitive, and healing the abuse that our current systems put on women’s body-mind-spirit.

    I’ve been riled all my adult life by the ongoing proliferation of *men’s* depiction’s of women’s bodies – for their own superficial titilation, or to diminish women’s intelligence and participation in the world on their own terms… and by the increasing indoctrination of young women into habits that assume they must conform to external presentations that are both impossible and pointless – or be rejected by the world.

    But in recent years I’ve seen new limitations on women’s work and voices, just as the article above speaks to: the internet, and even mainstream social media *should* have been this forum which allows those who’ve been written out of his-story and contemporary life, to express themselves! Instead, the algorithmic world, programmed by misogynistic prudes who have every need to keep women insecure, addicted to makeup and appearances, ashamed of their real bodies and feelings and perspectives…
    Instead, this ‘keeping it clean’ pretence – our need to have an algorithm to police the mainstream of – when we all know that there are very real evils being permitted and proliferated by the main social medias – this pretence is being used to systematically prevent women from both speaking their truth, and from witnessing other women speaking theirs – vitals aspects of women’s health, wellbeing and sanity.

    Though some women are finding their way around the algorithms (to speak on subjects like natural/ ecstatic birthing, caring for our bodies naturally rather than having them abused by the medical system, understanding our cycles and uniqueness) – and the fact that the sheer power of world-wide wisdom sharing is absolutely unstoppable… it’s super important to acknowledge what we are creating by condoning the systems that control what we see and share, and by continuing to participate in them. Particularly around the human body in its wholeness and innocence: in its nature and vulnerability, especially in ART.

    We live in very dangerous times when minds are able to be manipulated to follow huge economic powers/ pressures, rather than to trust their own body wisdom: when we’re lured to spend-and-not-think, to buy stuff but to not feel anything. When we see only sanitised images of humans and our hearts are dulled with trying to mimmick them, and when we effectively have all art, MADE BY REAL ARTISTS and not social media darlings, and using the stuffs of REAL LIFE and true lived experiences, enhanced by our holistic interbeing… When real life is systematically censored out of visibility in the mainstream, we’re in serious danger of being led into Matrix-like times. If real women can’t be seen, heard or supported, we keep us all in the dark ages.

    I am so fricking glad to hear issues like this being spoken about openly in Scottish media – it’s really heartening.

    1. Graham Ennis says:

      Dear Clare, as an artist I totally agree with you. Art is controlled by those in power, and deprecated, suppressed, or ignored if it violates the invisible barriers that are rapidly put around any “ART” that is unacceptable. The problem is that the prevailing body taboos of the White anglo-saxon world are enforced, and there is no true erotica or sensuousness, no liberation of the Women themselves to explore, for themselves, the status, the real truth about how women are the vital link in the continuation of the Species. Women have been deliberately confused, repressed, and only recently allowed some sexual liberation, in the last 70 years, but still on terms of male approval and satisfaction. The core of the issue is that we live in a homogenised global society, that channels all art towards economic and cultural control of both Women and men. The issue here is the Males, who are gradually getting to understand the issues of female liberation and female cultural liberation. Also female physical liberation. Much has been done, with gay marriage, personal liberation, etc, but it is still an unworn struggle. Confusion is the rule of the day. What a mess.

      1. Clare Galloway says:

        Graham thank you hugely for this wonderfully succinct reply – and yes, I hear you on all the points you make… at the same time, one of the reasons that the agenda is sooooo aggressive right now, is because there is worldwide movement in the opposite direction from interfering with our immense potent natural power and vitality.

        For the past 10 years at least there have been viral movements of women sharing truth around our infinite power to heal, to experience pleasure, to birth ecstatically – pulling away the veil of modern ‘medicine’ (which tells us that we’re inherently flawed and need to be fiddled with endlessly): women have been birthing orgasmically from the beginning of time, healing through steaming or similar with plant medicine, listening to our cycles and symptoms and knowing how to care for our loved ones and communities.

        If we follow mainstream for our ‘truth’, we don’t see this, because it has all been neatly wiped off the face of the mainstream – but step even one inch outside of the white-bread uber-confusion, and you’ll find hoards of healthy, happy, conscious folks living and thriving in Truth. The p l a n d e m i c is a good example of how we’re seeing everything BUT Truth: it’s based from top to bottom on pure lies and false and corrupt science, from the folks implementing the emergency directives, the folks shaming others for not conforming and consenting, the folks giving the jabs and putting others in isolation.

        We are all culpable from dragging us all down, and we’re all contributing to our own pain, injury, and miserable death, if we’re not looking at what Life on earth really can and should be. Starting with the sacred vessel of our body, and its inherent potent ability to heal itself, express itself, be in symbiosis with each other and with all things… Just being in mainstream ‘social’ ‘media’ means disconnecting, compartmentalising our mind-body-spirit, and having our beautiful creative genius manipulated into submission. It’s the very nature of the thing. In these platforms in particular, we’re ‘living’ through such a dark sliver of an aperture, thinking that we have this wonderful colourful, abundant world, when it’s an perverse parody of REAL LIFE.


  2. Frank Casey says:

    I find these images to be life affirming, remarkable. sensitive and thought provoking. The human figure undraped may be shown as a painting or as a sculpture. That is art. That is permissible. Photography is no less an art form. Since the 1980’s there has been a gradual imposition of censorship by stealth. It would appear that the double standards and bogus morality of the 1950’s is the yardstick by which artistic expression is to be measured.

  3. Robert says:

    Given that giant social media companies (Facebook, Twitter et al.) are indisputably toxic to their very core, how have we allowed them to gain such a hegemonic power over literally everything we do, to the point where hardly anyone can possibly exist without at least one major social media account? We have ethical, free software versions of operating systems (Linux) and office software (Open Office), so where are the free, open source versions of social media platforms that will drive the big boys of Facebook and Twitter out of business?

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Robert, good question, one which I think this Tim Berners-Lee project sets out to address, by separating out the components of social media systems and letting you keep your data detached:
      So, a bit like how email interoperates based on common protocols and standards, and you can use which software clients or services you like, and still connect with people using quite different email components, I suppose.

      1. Robert says:

        Thanks Sleeping… Can’t quite see how this project relates to social media but if TB-L is behind it I expect it is worthwhile and important!

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