‘Community Standards’ and Online Harassment

Working Title: Seen and Not Heard/Shut Up and Smile


This was legit the result of my clumsy fingers which resulted in a collage of images made by my smartphone.

I thought it could actually be used as a basis to explore the concept Internet censorship,  ‘community standards’ and the questionable biases which private companies enforce to outline and enforce what is appropriate for publication of their platform, particularly with regards to gender equality issues. Further, the agency and ownership of user content by private companies like Instagram, mean that when they shut down an account, that user is effectively silenced; there’s no method of reply or rebuttal (on that platform at least).

Rihanna is one social media celebrity whose account was shut down in 2014 due to topless and bottomless photos of her from an Italian magazine shoot. She is also a proponent of the #freethenipple movement, named after Lina Esco’s 2014 film of the same name, which campaigns to affect change in US censorship laws regarding the criminalisation of women’s bodies.

A more recent and local example is Clementine Ford’s Facebook account being suspended earlier this year, which created a public discussion about the double standards women endure online and the silencing effect of Facebook’s ‘community standards’ which, as Ms Ford explains:

[Make it] okay for men to call me a “diseased whore” who “needs 6 inches up you” and a “broomstick shoved in your pisshole,” but not okay to tell a pest to fuck off.

Maybe this could be the beginning of a collage exploring these issues? In the standard square dimensions of an insta post of course.


One thought on “DL A3: Concept 2 – 1st draft

  1. Hi Gwen!

    Love the concept! This is a relatively simple idea to pull off but it is packed with meaning.

    Clem is an excellent example and champion of the abuse and double standards that women face on the internet, it reminded me of this article by her: http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/being-blocked-is-not-the-same-as-being-censored-20160407-go0yur.html

    – I would consider making the ‘silent ringer’ box a bit smaller so it just covers her mouth, to make it look more deliberate.
    – I don’t know if it was just me, but my first thought when I saw this was that it was about Rihanna’s domestic abuse ordeal. I’m not sure how you could make is clearer, maybe use some text or change the caption on the Instagram? You could even find the original image that got her banned, or incorporate the #freethenipple hashtag.
    – Your use of hyperlinks in the description is great, you have clearly put a lot of research into this!

    Anyway that’s just a few ideas, it looks like a great start and I’m interested to see what you come up with 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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