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Skin? 

Ok, it's time to have the discussion on nudity.

I'd like to allow artistic nudity on Fotonomy, but I realise that many of you have different views - I'd like to hear them.

I envisage Fotonomy as being a little more grown-up and a little more professional than certain other photo sharing sites, and I don't think that people should be prevented from uploading some of their best work here.

Obviously, this will make policing the site more complicated and some of view may have reservations about allowing your kids to use the site.

So. I have my opinion, but I'd like to hear others before making firm rules on the subject.

(Thanks to einstein for allowing me to use his photo.) 

Comments

1:01pm April 22 2006grenthal said:  
artistic nudity is OK, but I think that all other adult contents should be forbidden. there are already a lot of sites for adults, and it wouldn't be good to mix artistic pictures and erotic pictures on the same site and put it on the same level of adult sites.
artistic nudity can be allowed for children, I think there is nothing wrong with this.

just my opinion, of course!
1:56pm April 22 2006karen said:  
a few of my thoughts (in no particular order)

I agree with grenthal in that artistic nudity is fine but not adult content.

Defining the difference is the key point but I think once done the art will be encouraged here.

I personally find artistic nudes MUCH more pleasing to the eye than photos of clothed people attempting a sexy pose for the web cam.

people *do* know the difference between *art* and *adult* (for want of better words) I believe the main problems would arise not from people opposing to such images as einsteins (for eg)but people claiming that their image of their drunken friend sprawled on the bed is infact art - these people are just being silly for the sake of it. Hopefully unpleasant discussions could be avoided.

I am a member of a photography site that actually screens ALL the photos before they are uploaded. This is not done for nudity etc but for quality. Surprisingly all the members are happy with this. Some do question the rejections but none have a hissy fit.
Maybe a screening (until confidence in the poster is established)process could take place?

I think if guidelines were set up and it is made clear that fotonomy makes the decisions then this site would attract more art, not only in skin but in all areas.
2:52pm April 22 2006yellville said:  
I have no problem with nudity when it is done right.......

We all KNOW what the difference between an art image and a vulgar image is. This is not our first rodeo in life..........

For those that are against any nudity, then why not institute a *Block all Nudity* feature for those who don't want to see them, even in the thumbnails....

Or a *This Image Contains Nudity* feature/warning for images that are uploaded......

Maybe Karen's idea of a review by LEVEL headed folks would work in keeping out any hardcore images too....

This is a worthy discusion and one I'd like to see resolved, we can all bend a little to reach a consensus.....

(I would suggest though that if artyfactory post any nudes of himself he should be BANNED for a week)
4:51pm April 22 2006Cedar9 said:  
I also have no problem whatsoever with artistic nudity (although I also adult content is a world away from it and not desireable at all) and I do think you really miss a dimension to photography without it.

Yellville said:

‘For those that are against any nudity, then why not institute a *Block all Nudity* feature for those who don't want to see them, even in the thumbnails....
Or a *This Image Contains Nudity* feature/warning for images that are uploaded......’

This would seem like a good idea; a way of managing it and allowing personal choice over it.

To be honest, the considerable reaction on some sites to even *discussion* being raised about nudity, and lack of response to it from other quarters, really ended the atmosphere for me there. To see guidelines established following discussion like this are a very positive idea; it's really encouraging to see a very different approach raised here, and I’m sure it will produce an effective system..
5:08pm April 22 2006dom said: (reply to comment #1767) 
I like the idea of flagging an image if it contains nudity - then having an option in your own settings not to show nude images if that's what you want (and maybe don't show them to non-logged in members by default).

That's what I'm leaning towards.

Fotothing had a clear 'no nudity at all' policy for a reason - it was meant to be fun for kids. Whatever the rules, I think changing them - or ignoring them - after you've made them is a mistake. Hence me wanting to get it right here. :)

It will always be subjective as to what someone considers art, so giving people the option to filter all nudity from the site is probably the best option.
6:03pm April 22 2006Cedar9 said: (reply to comment #1768) 
Yes indeed, ignoring so that things progress pretty much independently does not generally seem like a great strategy for anyone involved!

I can see the merits of ‘no nudity’ as far as kids are concerned, and I do think making it a default option is a good plan for that, although I wonder if it may stop other photographers whose work includes artistic nudity from seeing the true ‘climate’ of the site. Making the viewing of nudity optional for members respects their personal beliefs on the matter too.

Flickr has a ‘flag as offensive’ link for when other members feel an image goes too far, perhaps that would be an option, in case it should happen that someone decides to go down the ‘vulgar’ rather than ‘artistic’ route…..provided, again, we can generally agree on what ‘vulgar’ and ‘artistic’ are. For some images that would be easy to decide, for others, that subjectiveness would make the guidelines and decision making procedure pretty important too
6:40pm April 22 2006yellville said: (reply to comment #1768) 
Dom said:> I like the idea of flagging an image if it contains nudity - then having an option in your own settings not to show nude images if that's what you want (and maybe don't show them to non-logged in members by default).

That's what I'm leaning towards.<<

This is agreeable for Me....I'm Flexible on what is decided by all too

WOULD LIKE MORE OF YOU TO BRING SOME OF YOUR INPUT ON THE SUBJECT.....Please....
7:49pm April 22 2006PennyLane said: (reply to comment #1768) 
I have no problem at all with artistic nudity. As a parent, I have never had a problem with my kids looking at art/photography containing nudity. I like providing my friends/family with a link to the photo sites I use, but cringe at the thought that my mom would be opening up a website that might, at any moment, display tasteless adult material.

I think Dom's idea of flagging is a good one, but like Cedar said, filtering by default would mean that people who are not logged in would be unable to see, for example, Einstein's photos. Is that correct? Would it be possible to provide a toggle for anyone who visits the site, regardless of whether they are members, to allow all photos to be displayed? Since I don't know squat about writing code and all that, ( really don't know what is/isn't possible.
9:15pm April 22 2006Lieke said:  
It is a difficult issue, and a thin line between what is and is not 'quality'. With artistic nudes you are bound to get some images which are not particularly explicit, but are still not in good taste.



Also there could be problems with images of children; some will be okay but it is possible to see some with a very 'wrong' atmosphere to them. While I am not generally happy with censorship, I think there should certainly be a way of avoiding these too

11:38pm April 22 2006ashdad said:  
I would allow artistic nudity. Like PennyLane I never had a problem with my kids seeing art that contained nudity. The flagging / blocking option seems like a good way to deal with it for rhose parents (or others)who do have a problem with any nude images.
5:54am April 23 2006PhotoPro said:  
I have no problems with *any* nudity as long as it isn't; debasing, of children, or presented to someone unknowingly - including "artistic" nudity.

I would want a client I refer here to view my photos to have NO opportunity to view any nudity, "artistic" or otherwise.

I love the human body! It is an incredible machine. In it's natural form I believe it has an intrinsic beauty.

But(yeah, here comes the but), the % of artists wishing to post "artistic" nudity is incredibly small. My experience as a Moderator on Fotothing has been that most of those wishing to post "artistic" nudity have been more than willing to comply with a "no nudity" policy.

The other point I would mention is that "someone" will ultimately have to make ongoing decisions as to what is and what isn't "artistic" nudity. I read all the comments of people saying "Yeah, as long as it's "artistic" and "We all know what is "artistic" and what is not" I would beg to differ, 10 of any 10 people are probably going to see a different definition of "artistic". I could be mistaken, but I don't believe the usual quoted example of Michaelangelo's nudes includes any pubic hair. Yet it is already on this site. Personally I could give a big fat rat's *ss if it is here or not.... as long as it doesn't impact me financially.

Once you allow any nudity, you will have this ongoing need to "police" the site. From a simple economy of scale model, exponential growth will make this financially impractical to enforce.

You asked..... :)
7:13am April 23 2006artyfactory said:  
how about this....
users are only on by your invitation, so it's basically your site.
we can post images (arty stuff) but if you find it more smut than art - delete!
we can argue till the cows come home about art verses smut, so someone has to make the decision.
You have already decided who can be a member, so keep it simple, keep it under control, keep it arty..
Benevolent dictatorship rather than democracy.
7:15am April 23 2006artyfactory said:  
p.s. re yellville
does that nudity include pics of my gloriously naked head?
9:49am April 23 2006Cedar9 said:  
PhotoPro said:

‘But(yeah, here comes the but), the % of artists wishing to post "artistic" nudity is incredibly small. My experience as a Moderator on Fotothing has been that most of those wishing to post "artistic" nudity have been more than willing to comply with a "no nudity" policy.’

That’s very true, but for some I think that would be because they respected the rules of the site, not because they didn’t have the work or the desire to show it. They have assumed there is no opportunity on that site, and chosen not to post; if an opportunity arose here, they may be pleased to take it. I would personally prefer not to miss out work like Einstein’s here, for example, because the photographer would respect a rule preventing him posting it here.

Someone, or some people, will indeed have to be final decision makers and be open with the community about why they have made them, and that goes with the territory, hence this process I guess. All sites with or without nudity will need policing anyway, regardless of size: it does seem to me a very worthwhile undertaking. Just as before when there were other sites allowing nudity, in this case there would still always be other sites with a ‘no nudity’ rule if someone didn’t want to show others their photographs here for that reason, there can be flexibility in using more than one.

And good point artyfactory in the end ‘benevolent dictatorship’ (with delegation in order to have some free time perhaps) sounds like it!
10:30am April 23 2006dom said: (reply to comment #1893) 
Arty - the site will not be invite only forever. The main reason it's like that now is to stop it growing out of control before all the core features are in place.

As Cedar9 says, the site will need policing whatever rules are made, and someone will have to make judgement calls on what is and what isn't appropriate. Inevitably, some people will not be happy with decisions that are made, but that's the way it goes.
12:49pm April 23 2006yellville said:  
In Reply to photoPRO.....

Bill, you can always just send *clients* to your FT site instead of here......
1:56pm April 23 2006PhotoPro said:  
yellville said:
In Reply to photoPRO.....

Bill, you can always just send *clients* to your FT site instead of here......

Yes, until the policy changes next week.... which is already in the works. :)

c9 said:
And good point artyfactory in the end ‘benevolent dictatorship’ (with delegation in order to have some free time perhaps) sounds like it!
I agree!
2:21pm April 23 2006Cedar9 said:  
Or set up your own site?
2:32pm April 23 2006dom said: (reply to comment #1982) 
At some point in the future it may be possible to have an option where the more professional photographers can set up a site separate from the main site, that just shows all their photos in a 'portfolio' style with their own layout etc.

Your photos would appear both on the main site and in your portfolio, but people viewing your portfolio site would only see your photos and nothing else... if that makes sense.
5:59pm April 23 2006Pewari said:  
I think if artistic nudity is to be allowed, my preference would be to have it flagged and the display to be OFF by default (i.e. you consciously choose not to see it).

I'd still like to see clearer guidelines of the dividing line between artistic and porn - if only not to be accused of favouritism somewhere down the line...
6:00pm April 23 2006Pewari said:  
(erm ... that should be you consciously choose TO see it) ... can we have edit on comments please dom :)
11:09pm April 23 2006belinketeneghe said:  
Dom said:

I like the idea of flagging an image if it contains nudity - then having an option in your own settings not to show nude images if that's what you want (and maybe don't show them to non-logged in members by default)

I think this is the right solution. Flickr teaches.

11:25pm April 23 2006jomoud said:  
Personally, I have no problem with nudity. Moreoevr, even racy stuff does not particularly give me problems personally. Having said that, it obviously follows that I would have no problems whatsoever with artictic nudity.
The problem I see however is the future and the policing.
Once you allow "artistic nudity" you will start to get flooded with garbage by persons who see it as an acceptance of nude stuff in general. Unfortunately, in this world many see a nude image and consider it as an invitation to upload porn. Without wanting to be labelled a bigot, I am almost certain that once the far east discovers the site and see nudes, we will be flooded with garbage.
Flagging is a good idea, but eventually you may wind up with more flagged images than anything else.
If we want to avoid that, then a decision must be made which nude is acceptable and which not. Do you have the time for that Dom, or do others have to do so?
Whatever decision is reached is fine with me.
Just wanted to point out that it may be a cause of opening the floodgates.
3:01am April 24 2006ohhahhwho said:  
Ultimately, it comes down to where you draw the line between art and adult content. Some consider below the waist adult content; some can't figure out the difference between exotic and erotic; some are morbidly afraid of any nudity (religion) while others couldn't care less.

For me, if I was in your position Dom, I'd do some research and find out what the law constitutes as artistic nudity and where the line's drawn between this and adult content. Then focus the discussion on these points.

From what I've read here most have no problem with artistic nudity. I think it's in the best interest of all to define these concepts in a legal sense first. I'd hate to see you or anyone else get in trouble because someone couldn't tell the difference. Then, hash out a policy. I can help with the research if you need it.

With the response here it does seem to be something the entire community would like to see or have implemented.
3:50am April 24 2006PhotoPro said: (reply to comment #1982) 
Cedar9 said: Or set up your own site?
Is that an offer to pay? :)

I totally agree with many of the comments that point out the need for a delineating line. Dom ultimately that will come from you.

jomoud said: The problem I see however is the future and the policing.
I agree.

dom said: (in reply to comment #1982) At some point in the future it may be possible to have an option where the more professional photographers can set up a site separate from the main site, that just shows all their photos in a 'portfolio' style with their own layout etc.

Your photos would appear both on the main site and in your portfolio, but people viewing your portfolio site would only see your photos and nothing else... if that makes sense.
I like the sound of this.

No one has mentioned segregating the adult content from the main site.... maybe that would be an option. Those of us that still want to see that art will have access, yet it would be "shielded" from the general public.
6:13am April 24 2006visuallyadaptive said:  
Quote by Dom :
"I like the idea of flagging an image if it contains nudity"

Can we have one for cats as well?

Most of the points I would have made have already been talked about, I agree with ohhahhwho although you may find there are different laws in different countries (or is there just one general law across the internet?)
You also may have to have a disclaimer on the signup page with an age limit or parent/guardian's consent
3:21pm April 24 2006Justagirl said:  
It all boils down to what is the individual's idea is of art nudity. One person's idea may be different to the next. One moments there could be an upload of a beautiful modest nude in an appropriate artistic position, the next, could be plain obscene.
With so much beauty on this planet to photograph, why bother photographing the human body?
The human body is a beautiful object, but so is a flower, a plant, a tree and even water.
There is a very fine line between nude art and adult content.

3:52pm April 24 2006molly said:  
Can open....worms everywhere!!

Actually, I have no opinion. I'm not going to be taking any nude shots, so I'm not too worried about it, and they don't offend me. But I understand the issue. Dom, I think you're perfectly within your rights to do whatever you choose....I know...fence-sitter, that's me....
9:40pm April 24 2006backstreets said:  
nude art is indeed a form of art, that can be exceptionaly beautiful ! ive seen stunning works...I sugest it would be aloud, why not?
i belive that any well formed and inteligent person knows exactly where is that line that splits art from vulgarity....whoever crosses that line, i believe will have no place in here
10:07pm April 24 2006SteveM said: (reply to comment #2422) 
Everybody claims that everyone knows the difference between art and pornography (Gloria Leonard, somewhat famously said, "Lighting"), but I think you'll find when you get down to details, everyone draws the line in a different place (cf: Robert Mapplethorpe and others).

I personally would much rather allow all in order to be sure that some are allowed, so I would also vote for a personal preference setting.

Unfortunately, you can't be sure a person is of consenting age in their particular locale, so you may then be subject to U.S. laws regarding 17-year-olds opting in for (what some call) "adult" content. So, sadly, I suggest you check into issues of your legal liability for avoiding content that might be deemed "pornographic" by the most puritanical standards.

s <-- Billions of disposable cups now printed: "Coffee is hot. Do not spill in lap."
10:33pm April 24 2006Sheila said:  
Dom, do you have a lower age limit in mind for members here? That might have a large impact on the way any or all of us would feel about images posted here. Most of us wouldn't have a problem with nudity at all if we didn't feel we were duty bound to protect the innocent, both viewing and when being photographed.

It's the context that makes it acceptable or not. To me it is not acceptable on FT because of the "Montello"s and "Harvey"s of the membership. In an adult-only community it isn't such an issue in my mind.
6:06am April 25 2006artyfactory said:  
Related to this topic is the aspect of Is this a site for art photo's?
That is, will Fotonomy be reserved for good art shots, or will 'happy snaps' be OK here too?
There's already pics of people's pets... which is fine if this is a site for anything.
So Dom, what was your hope for this site?
10:17am April 25 2006dom said: (reply to comment #2505) 
Good question.

I'd really like to see more great photography (and art) on here, but I don't have any problem with people uploading photos of their pets if thats what they want to do.

I think rather than try to control the type of photos people upload, I'd just like to produce something that encourages them to take better photos by inspiring them.

But I definitely don't want to do that at the expense of the community aspect of the site.

I definitely don't want the site to become elitist or some kind of private club (although there's no sign up page at the moment, I'm happy to add anyone who asks), but I personally see this more as an 'online gallery' than a photo blog.

This probably deserves its own topic as I'd like to get feedback from others too.
1:04pm April 25 2006artyfactory said:  
fair enough.
The early days of any project tend to colour how it goes long-term. The types of images being uploaded now will build the character of the site, and create the 'flavour' that it will become known for.
2:35pm April 25 2006belinketeneghe said:  
> more as an 'online gallery' than a photo blog.
that's what I'd like this site to be,
9:49pm April 25 2006viv71 said:  
Well..."more as an online gallery than a photo blog"...sounds great to me...but I'm afraid that it will take a lot of time to get rid off garbage ( once u allow nude art here ) which for someone can mean art but for others would be just something..well..not art...but just cheap and vulgar...I'd love to see nude art here though, loved einstein's images here for example...so good luck with setting everything right...sorry for not giving u a better opinion, I'm not a technical type so I have no idea how u can manage to control people posting something what u can't call art anymore...good luck with it!I'm hapy to be here :)
11:20am April 27 2006pueo said:  
hmm I still think the "security levels" idea would be a good. Levels like public, members only, adult-members, and private. Or maybe that could be an "Albums" feature. I don't know.

Member flagging of nudes would be good too. Despite the fact that people should be smart enough to flag/tag their own photos as "nude" or not.

Maybe flagging of "offensive" (abusive?) might be good too. Once the picture gets say... 3 "offensive" flags the photo automatically becomes only a "private" viewable photo.

By default I would assume the general public should not see any nudes.

Special user "portfolios" would be an interesting and nice feature.

I am not opposed to having artistic nudes available for members to see. I just want there to be at least a few boundaries.
1:15am April 30 2006Chubster said:  
Nudity per se is not offensive unless you're a member one of the many religious nutty groups. In which case you're gonna find offence everywhere so you automatically get disqualified from a real discussion - the door's over there.

What get's argued about most often in deciding what's categorised as porn is the "who puts what where and how clearly can we see it" question. Easy answer - if you're putting anything anywhere, we don't want to see it.

Aside from that, we are all surely capable of discerning a nude from a beaver shot? Angle/aperture/proximity are all clues.

Anyway, I support the "security levels" idea if necessary.

Bit drunk - sorry if this is a mess.
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10:55pm May 3 2007CelticClicks said:  
I have absolutely no problem with my children seeing nude ART - I feel there is no room in my life for making the human body a taboo "dirty" thing. And if it's truly ART then amen to it! There will always be those that push the edge of this though so maybe a "security level" would be good... extra work for you though maybe ;-)
5:01am November 22 2007wolf2728 said:  
well i for one will not post any more photos untill i find out if nude photos will be allowed on this site! I think nude or porn its all classed together, do you buy play boy mags in the grocery store check out line? no !!!why? because it is sold in the "adult" stores! so I ask is this an "adult" site? or is it a site to post "clean" photos? there is tons of free porn sites that you can post your nude body on all day! you can then let everyone behold your nude self all day! but why do such trashy stuff on a site about photography, I see now this is no diffrent than fotothing.com which i left, I can see now my best bet is to go to a site that is for true adults not preverts seeking to get a thrill from showing their bodies or looking at trash, so To kodak it looks like i will go! I say give them the trash they want this will be a porn site before its over! and you will not have nothing but SMUT on here all the clean folks will leave! all you will have is a site for the preverted sick hearted, this will be labled as a porno site not a site for photographs! trust me if you allow nudes you will allow smut intercource plain ol porn! it will get out of hand! you can not control it! it will invade your whole site! so sorry to find this out thank God i found this out the frist day on here! less work to remove the photos!
9:51pm February 17 2008martini957 said:  
Interesting subject and I would not like to be in your shoes on deeming what is art and what is trash.....different strokes for different folks deal here. One man's trash may be another man's treasure. I personally have never appreciated nude art, especially some of those fat women they used to draw lol...It basically boils down to how huge, and powerful the porn industry is...it didn't get that huge and powerful because a handful of folks like it.....the majority like porn and sadly it does appear that NOTHING is going to stop it .....NOTHING wrong with God's design in the human body or in the sexual act.....but like everything that was created GOOD.....mankind makes it dirty and evil.....and please note that when I state mankind...I DO NOT mean only men : )
1:42pm March 29 2009yvon said:  
There is a big difference in NUDE pictures and NUDE pictures!!!
Why would the person show us this shot?
Is it a fantastic taken nude shot or is it porn!
Sorry for my explanation in English I hope everyone understand this.
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