Wednesday, March 19, 2014



There is a commercial for car insurance that has three elderly women friends sitting in a living room. One woman talks about not needing to send out postcards from vacation anymore because she can post pictures on her wall. By this she means her actual living room wall. When one of her friends challenges her assumptions she retorts .I unfriend you. ” To which her friend responds “That’s not how this works, that not how any of this works.”

That I fear is the problem with the efforts of those inclothes free community who are battling Facebook’s ban on nudity even the non sexual kind. They would like FB to allow some nudity. But thats not how it works, thats not how any of this works.

First of Facebook is a not a public access company. FB is a private social media company. You or I have no free speech rights that can be claimed because FB has policies that “censor” what we might desire to post. When a person starts a FB account he/she agrees to certain terms of service that take away any such perceived rights. When one agrees to the terms of service you agree to abide by the companies policies.

This is why even Huffpost which is pretty open about dealing with nudity is not interested in taking up the anti FB cause. There just isn’t censorship case to be made. This however is not the biggest reason why I think effort will not work. FB is a business, they are in the business of making money by selling advertising. That is there business model. The more they can target that advertising the more they can charge for it. They do this collecting information about their users and feeding that into a software algorithm that aggregates the data and serves up ads for their advertising customers. FB wants to collect data about people who its ads clients want to reach.

Here in lies the problem, nudists and naturists don’t represent a big enough demographic to matter as a data for ad buys. But if nudity turns off the users that do matter to FB then nudists and naturist matter. I believe this is the reason behind the recent purge of prominent naturist/nudist pages. If these pages flew under the radar then they might not matter. But that is not the reason why those folks are there they are there to promote their clothes free venues or cause. That means reaching out to as broad an audience as possible not being Inconspicuous. So the two things are at odds. FB will not sacrifice efficacy of its data to satisfy a very small group of people from whom they will get no payoff.

Finally any possibility of FB allowing some nudity is a long shot. There just is not an easy way for FB to manage the kind of nudity it allows. It is in FB’s interest and profitability to make that simple so it can as we now know outsource that process. If FB were to give the green light to nudity it would open up the door all kinds of problems with trying to figure out what is nonsexual and what is sexual nudity or pornography. Thats more effort and cost than FB would typically want to expend. So I my opinion they will continue to keep it simple and just have a general ban on any kind of nudity.

There will be minor tweaks a assuage any big hue and cry from demographics they feel they to hold on to (allowing breastfeeding photos as long as mothers are clothed. ). I don’t count nudist/naturists in that number. I think the folks at the heart of the FB anti censorship effort are to be commended, but these are the reason why unfortunately I do not believe their effort will work.What do you think?


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