Monday, August 24, 2015

Confounded by Social Media's Response to Nudity

There have been many excellent posts prepared by various bloggers on the subject of social media and nudity... especially regarding Facebook.  We have read a number of them and applaud nudist writers for their treatment of the subject.

For our part, the Bare Platypus has commented about the impact that strict anti-nudity policies on some of these websites is having on public perception.  You can read, for example, Facebook Where Art Thou Priorities? You can also read as we ponder the effects of Nudist Twitter Tweets Being Saved for Posterity, and Google Drive with Cloud Storage .  We also asked aloud whether Instagram Should Signal Instant Caution for Nudists ?

Today the Platypus will share some recent observations... and by "recent" we mean what we saw on Facebook and Pinterest last weekend.  On Facebook we saw a couple of images that struck us as memorable... mainly because they happened to be juxtaposed together in our Facebook "feed."  

The first was a picture of some acquaintances from church who took a snap of themselves feasting at a booth in a restaurant that serves "ample" portions.  Everyone at the table was at least 75 pounds overweight. We're not trying to throw stones here (the Platypus weighs too much for his own good, admittedly.)  And we agree that everyone is beautiful as a creation of the Almighty.  No. It was the celebration of overindulgence that pushed the limits here: extra large milkshakes, hamburgers double stacked with heaping mounds of french fries, deserts about to be served to top it all off.

And all perfectly acceptable to snap and post on the world's largest online social gathering.

Just below this, placed by an entirely different group of people in an unrelated posting, was a picture of a bumper sticker that read "Can't feed em'? Don't breed em'"  ... with a bunch of "Likes" and "thumbs ups." The implication was that unless a person was unconditionally prepared to feed their children for eighteen years without needing a hand up---despite the fact that no one is fully able to  forecast failures in health, a job loss, injury, death of a family's breadwinner, divorce, or a hundred other setbacks---they should not ever start a family.

Pardon the Platypus, but we found both of the afore-mentioned entries offensive.  Know what? The Platypus didn't ask that the user(s) who added them to the site be banned. Not that the company would have found such things a violation of its terms of service.  The Platypus realizes that he is free to either stop following those who post things he would rather not read or, as in the case of this weekend, simply ignore the pictures and move on... recognizing that the same Facebook users who did something objectionable to him today may also upload the next thought provoking or encouraging word tomorrow.  

But know something else?  If there were an image of a woman baring her breasts while relaxing in the sun, or a toddler's bare behind toddling down the beach or, heaven forbid a man whose penis is visible or even worse, any teen enjoying life naturally?  Well, that calls for instant banishment from the Zuckerberg kingdom. Or at least temporary probation and a stern lecture supplied by a computer bot.  Pinterest isn't much better. A snap here or there may evade the censors.  But a search for the word "nudist" or "nudism" prompts an automatic reminder that company policy prohibits delving into anything bordering on "sex."

Who said anything about sex?  The Platypus just gets an occasional smile when he comes across an eighty-something couple in their birthday suits, wrinkles and all, walking a wooded path. Or any of the afore-mentioned celebrations as it is fearfully and wonderfully made by our Almighty Creator.  This along with tips for backyard gardening, collecting memorabilia, recipes, and a host of other subjects.

There's something about nudity that warrants a social media "death sentence" with none too many avenues of appeal.  Allnudist.com and the Terra Cotta Inn have been on the wrong side of such kangaroo courts by faceless Facebook  guardians. We have to ask "why" although we already know the answer.