OnlyFans is releasing their censored nude images from Vienna's museums

OnlyFans is releasing their censored nude images from Vienna's museums ...

Social media isn't particularly picky when it comes to nude art. Sometimes, mainstream online platforms cant seem to tell the difference between Francisco de Goyas Nude Maja and a Playboy centerfold.

But art museums in Vienna have found a way to display their nude collections online without tripping alarms or threatening their museum accounts: creating an OnlyFans account. The Vienna Tourist Board, working on the museums behalf, is now displaying nude art on a platform primarily used by sex workers.

This feeds into a larger debate about where to draw the lines between pornography and artand whether or not any are worth drawing. OnlyFans, which sold $2 billion in 2020, has felt the pressure. It announced earlier this year that it would ban sexually explicit content, citing pressure from banks and payment firms. After a sex worker protest, it reversed course, demonstrating the power and flexibility of online platforms.

Blocked and reported.

The Vienna Tourist Board said its museums have a slew of online challenges. After the Natural History Museum Vienna published images of the 25,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf, a 5,000-year- old Paleolithic limestone figure, Facebook deleted the images and called them pornographic. The Albertina Museum's TikTok account was suspended in July after showing nudes from the Japanese artist and photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, according to CNN. Because of the nudity restrictions, the Leopold Museum, which houses contemporary Austrian art, has struggled to make a splash on social media.

Even promoting the new OnlyFans account on other social media proved difficult, according to the board. Twitter rejected links to the boards website because they connected to The OnlyFans account. (Twitter allows nudity on its platform as long as the account and images are labeled as such.) After the tourist board explained the context to the platforms, Facebook and Instagram only allowed ads featuring the Venus of Willendorf and a nude painting by Amedeo Modigliani, while other images by artists Egon Schiele and Peter Paul Rubens were rejected.

Facebook generally restricts nudity on its platform, but claims that its attitude has become more nuanced over time and that it understands that sharing photos containing nudeity may have artistic, educational, or medical reasons. In 2016, the firm was criticized when it removed the Pulitzer Prize-winning Napalm Girl photograph, which shows a naked young girl running away from sarin attacks during the Vietnam War.

Anyone who purchases a subscription to the tourism boards new OnlyFans account, which is priced at $3 per month, will receive 'Vienna City Card', containing free public transportation and discounts in the city, or sassy admission to ostensibly free museums. OnlyFans allows artists to sell subscriptions directly to their customers who can then access photos, videos, or other media.

Challenging social media

At the heart of this campaign is a challenge to the status quo online, which the tourism board claims is too much on the side of censorship. We... ponder how much nudity we can tolerate and who can determine what we deem offensive, said Vienna Tourist Board director Norbert Kettner in a statement. Nude art is a socio-political and artistic component of cultural history, states the writer.

Social media companies may be quick to remove nude images in part because of the threat of SESTA-FOSTA, a US anti-sex trafficking law that undercuts legal liability protections for platforms found to be facilitating sexting in any way. According to Jillian York, the director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's international freedom of expression, this legislation has made platforms more eager to delete sexual content of all kinds.

But image recognition technology is progressing sufficiently to be able to distinguish between nude images and explicit sex acts, she said, and social media should be better at distinguishing artistic nudes and rule-breaking material.

In addition, she believes that social media firms should not be in the business of censoring non-explicit images of the human body in most casesin art or otherwisebecause it incorrectly confuses nudity with sexuality. York said, Yes, art is important, but who decides what art it is?

What is art? may seem like an impossible question to answer, but social media companies may trust museums and other art institutions to determine which nudes are appropriate for the platform. Until that happens, the worlds museums and art galleries may at least showcase their work on OnlyFans.

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