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 (5)

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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.

  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:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid_(web_decentralization_project)
      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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