A question for you; How do you censor creativity?
When you create something, do you worry about your critics? Do you ever worry about creating something that might make a child question what they see, or even potentially scar them for life? (not my words)
Hey, i will never be that cricket on your shoulder and i am certainly not the thought police, but i am interested because pinterest have been doing a lot of censoring of late. A couple of months ago, my friend posted this image:
Like me, she is an artist and comes from a liberal background. Like mine, her parents were hippies and she had a pretty interesting childhood, full of wonderful and inspiring people. My mother was a free spirit who nailed driftwood to the skirting boards around the house, stripped all the walls in the livingroom and painted abrstract nudes with large gentials on the hearth wall. There were framed sketches from her life drawing classes in the hallway. Nudity was never seen as a dirty or bad thing. I remember coming home from school one day and she announced that we were no longer wearing shoes in the house anymore, after she had removed all the carpets from downstairs- the same day she decided to strip the walls of paper and begin her ‘abstract project’. This was not for any religious purpose, you understand, but because she had impulses that simply could not be ignored!
When Laura (her real name) posted this image, she thought nothing of it. I know she had been working on a project that involved this sort of imagery, so was using the site correctly (if there is a correct way to use it). When i pin things to boards in my studio, i certainly don’t think of others judging my inspiration or tastes. Why should i? This is my work and it’s personal. If we all left out the gritty parts, art would be sterile.
A woman, let’s call her Mary, left her a comment simply saying ‘Pervert’. After far too much tooing and frowing, she came to the conclusion that we were filthy reprobates who should be stopped immediately before we poluted the squeeky clean minds of the viewing public. Her parting shot involved us working with starving children in Africa, rather than looking at these pictures and hopefully one day, we would find Jesus. I wish i could post a link, but pinterest deleted the image shortly after the climax of the three day long debate.
I did a quick search to see if anyone else had faced this problem and it didn’t take long to find someone who had experienced a similar situation Censored on Pinterest: Is Kate Moss’s Nipple Really Inappropriate? Megan is obviously incensed about this, and rightly so! I remember both of Kate Moss’ nipples being everywhere in the 90’s and i come from a country where we have a page in a newspaper, dedicated to a woman’s bare breasts – Page 3.
Many art communities have filters. I have been an active member of Deviant Art for nine years now and have seen the community change a great deal in this time. Like any community, it includes those with mild and extreme tastes with members and contributors of all ages. They have a filtering option where responsible artists can put an age restriction on their works if they see fit to do so.
I understand that children may use this site, but there are people who have accounts on pinterest dedicated to erotica. Should they be stopped? I don’t think so, but do you? I am a strong believer in keeping children as innocent for as long as possible, because there are so many pressures on them nowadays and they are expected to grow up so quickly. I am quite sure i will write a lot about that, but for now, i will stick to my subject. Since they are in the early stages of their ‘filtering process’, i decided to contact them about an image that was removed from my account and give my feedback, which i hoped would help. The image in question was Pinocchio’s Face in the pubic region of a man’s body. The concept is obvious and being a tattoo artist, i found it funny, as did a few fellow tattooists. After all, we have all tattooed that funny guy, who had a brilliant concept, which will be the jewel on our portfolio’s crown for many a year to come. This was one of those tattoos. Pinterest removed it, even though there was no actual nudity, the concept was enough to shock. They had been very accomidating up until then and always replied in person. I received a stock email, which i replied to immediately.
I waited for a reply but didn’t receive one and i must admit, i was surprised. In conclusion, i believe they have a great idea and it has become very successful but have maybe their original concept was a little idealistic. I have invested a great deal of time in Pinterest and follow some great individuals, but there is no platform for debate or discussion, apart from the comment box and once the pin has been removed, the comments are removed along with it. I suggested a forum as a solution to all this, but again, no reply.
So finally, can artists and children mix online, are filters the way to go or do you believe that deleting research material without asking the owner should be allowed? Should pinterest have a mother account entitled ‘Things you CAN pin’? Is Pinterest a community about your taste and how long will it be before the things we are pinning are in fact, not our taste at all?