Monday, March 11, 2013


Bee Butt

I've been PINcensured!   I've previously blogged about Pinterest while in the blush of first love (My Online Gallery: Pinterest) and again as my affair matured (Behind the Pins).  Over the past several months, I haven't been paying as much attention to pinning -- which is maybe a good thing because I could be on the cusp of a, gasp, break up!
Pink Flowers, Central Park, New York
It was a polite notice, short and to the point.  The meat (all puns intended) of the reason for removing a pin:
  • "We don't allow nudity—photos that show breasts, buttocks or genitalia—on Pinterest. This applies to pins on both public and secret boards."
Hmm, I don't remember reading about that when I reviewed the terms of agreement but a
 quick investigation of the Acceptable Uses Policy produced this statement::

"You agree not to post User Content that:
  • contains any information or content we deem to be hateful, violent, harmful, abusive, racially or ethnically offensive, defamatory, infringing, invasive of personal privacy or publicity rights, harassing, humiliating to other people (publicly or otherwise), libelous, threatening, profane, or otherwise objectionable".
By now you might be scratching your head and wondering what the heck image did she post?   I know I would be.  Here are some hints:
  • Annie Leibovitz photo of an iconic couple
  • Photo shoot was December 8, 1980
  • It was for the cover of Rolling Stone to celebrate the release of Double Fantasy
Burnett Fountain, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, New York
A Secret Garden
I wrote to Pinterest to inquire about the removal of this pin -- in particular, I was concerned that they had mis-applied the "no nudity" policy to something that is art.  The image you ask?  It's that famous one of a nude John Lennon embracing a fully clothed Yoko Ono.  Liebovitz has said about the photo that John and Yoko thought she had captured their relationship perfectly.   You can find it all over the Web including on the Rolling Stones Website or as an image in a short article published in the LA Times.  He died the day of this photo shoot.

To be honest, I could not fathom how a small team of very hip looking individuals could think this photo was objectionable. I was a bit befuddled upon receiving the initial notice -- I remember thinking "if this doesn't count as art, what does?"  I wrote to Pinterest a couple of weeks ago -- no personal reply yet (maybe they are composing a "Dear John" letter to mark our break up).  In the absence of a response, I've done a little poking around and found others whose Pins have been pulled because of nudity.  The common theory is that, for Pinterest, photos do not count as art as they were not made or rendered by human hand.  Huh?   The good news is that whole swaths of art are not going to be PINcensured.  So if you want a place to collect and organize photos of beautiful paintings and sculptures that include nudity, you'll be OK on Pinterest.  Here are some links to get you started: Michelangelo's DavidBotticelli's The Birth of Venus,  and Rubens The Three Graces.

Magnolia Blossom, Central Park, Spring 2012
Magnolia Blossom
If you are wondering why I posted this image in the first place, I had posted it to my People to Meet/ What I'd Ask Board with a question for Yoko.  It went something like this:    How did it feel to be so loved by him?  To be the center of his universe? I think I included something about how you could see the passion they had for each other in that embrace.  In fact, you can see that passion and synchronicity in most photos of this duo.

I've replaced the original pin with this surrogate -- shot on that same December evening -- where they are both fully clothed.  You can still see the love.  What's missing is hard to pinpoint -- if I had to put it into words, I'd have to say that I'm missing John's joyous spirit (he thought nothing of getting naked for this shot) and I'm missing his passion, his zest for life.  It's just not quite there in this substitute Pinterest-friendly image.

RIP John, RIP.

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