Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Speaking of Censorship (Again)

The artist: Stiofan O'Ceallaigh image acquired from John Hopper

It seems a group of young queer artist are being systemically silenced right now and gee yesterday was "World Come of the Closet Day" apparently. Who knew? But that is neither here or there or maybe that is the issue. Yesterday a friend on facebook posted a little coming out story from 40 years ago and in response others shared theirs and there were comments about how things have "Changed" and gotten better, and while that is true i need to point out the Weimar Republic and its "golden era," 1924-1929 and how long it didn't last *1

Back to the artist  Stiofan O'Ceallaigh, the blogger/ textile guru/ art writer John Hopper censorship and the reason for writing this. In a word FACEBOOK. it is not a safe place for free cultural expression. it can be easily be targeted, purveyors of it block , banned and removed and there is no recourse. By using facebook to promote your art: one you are giving your right to it away and 2 they can do what the wish with and everybody has the ability to depose of it if they feel like it.  Hatred has free rein on facebook the less blatant the more powerful and such delicious anonymity,

On Monday October 10, 2016  John Hopper shared a link on facebook to an interview he did with Stiofan O'Ceallaigh queer artist/ cultural promoter/ activist and creator of  Balaclava. Q an  International Queer Visual Arts Project on his johnhopper.blogspot  and the sequence things occurred 

( I am taking John's facebook postings and my comments from earlier this morning directly)

A few hours ago he posted the following and i am possibly putting my self at risk by sharing this information and link on facebook so I am putting it in my fQaroundtown Blog and sharing that post 

John Hooper post : " So, facebook has decided to ban the artist Stiofan O'Ceallaigh for 7 days, to remove the Balaclava.Q facebook page, and all of the posts that I have made supporting both Stiofan and Balaclava.Q. Well, it seems as if it is time to move on. Facebook has become a farce, its bullying of artists is getting out of hand, its draconian censorship rules make it a totalitarian state in its own right. Facebook is derisible and indefensible, so I am going to be spending much more time on the grown up social media sites. See you there maybe #censorship #artcensorship #facebookcensorship

 My response to his post was:

"been there done that, more then once,, It is interesting when anti Bullying activist like Pink Shirt Day use facebook to spread their message when facebook provides a prefect tool for cyber bullying. If facebook had any integrity and was smart they would let it be known who the report was made by so you could find out if the report was malicious drunken fun, jealousy "they get more likes then me", about naked body parts, (which it seldom is ) or anit Trump.. There should be a process by which the reporter must prove their point. Strange considering facebook was started by wannabe frat boys.who wanted girls to show there breast on the interment so they would be popular and get asked to join a a fraternity should come to this. Sadly it has been our use of facebook that has supported this anonymous process.

Then I went to the The Pink Shirt Day canada facebook page and posted this

I have a question Has Pink Shirt Day ever had a post reported and been banned by facebook from posting for 7 days? facebook is one of the places where cyber bullies run rampant yet it is a place where anti bullying campaigns take place. is this one of your issues? #censorship #artcensorship #facebookcensorship 

{there has been no response as of 10 am Wednesday Oct,12 2016 } 
John' Hopper: response nse to my response was “You are right Joe. I am going to look into the process of fb complaints and defense this afternoon, though not sure I'll find much. How can you have a community where you have no real rights of defense against accusations? How can you set yourself up as an inclusive community if you choose who to include? “

That is the story as its stands at the moment.

here is the direct link to the Hopper Stiofan O'Ceallaigh interview and you will find direct links to the artist, the Balaclava.Q project and their YouTube Station 

This concerns me deeply and not just because i have had similar experiences on facebook (and was told by other artists on facebook to such it up) I wrote about one experience here  and the person who i assume reported me on facebook made a series of anonymity comments full of such vitriol i figured i had guessed right and that it was an artist mother defending her child. ( against being asked if she could be photographed and included in one of my fQ monthly textile sightings album.  Over the my exhibiting career i have dealt with censorship in many ways from vandalism / direct physical assault of my work to administratively by curators and even exhibition contracts that would have allowed them to remove any of my work if it caused offense. I did not sign and pointed out their support of censorship which they said they most certain did not support censorship and that the contract was just bog standard boiler plate that their lawyer had pulled out of his hat and i should not be consider the wording it was just semantics.  

Art work / creative output is not offensive, people may find it offends them, but that is there personal response and nobody is forcing them to look at it. To allow your art work to be legally identified as offensive is like signing your own death sentence. Shall we go back to the end of the Wiemar Republic and repeat history. In case anyone thinks i am  equating facebook with any political agenda i am not their only agenda is the bottom line and its easier to allow others to anonymously report/block and ban anyone they want accept advertisements and even there they give you the option to see different ones but not the option to see none
I have had my say so good day

*1here is a link to a quick tabloid history of the Wiemar Republic

you also might want to see if any of these recent post are still visible on facebook . if you chose to like and share them you might be reported. block and banned. You have been advised,

Happy Come out of the Closet as Anti-censorship day

FYI here is the story that got me reported blocked and banned from facebook in April 2012 
April 3 2012 Live from Montreal "En Arvil" Quebec's fibre celebration

and my story about being reported blocked and banned
April 3 2012 the ripple effect of blogging about textiles in Montreal 

please note how my bad spelling is point out to prove i couldn't possibly have a right to my opinion  


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