Vienna laid bare on OnlyFans
October 18, 2021 12:58 AM   Subscribe

Are you daring enough to take a look at Vienna laid bare on OnlyFans? Vienna and its art institutions are among the casualties of this new wave of prudishness – with nude statues and famous artworks blacklisted under social media guidelines, and repeat offenders even finding their accounts temporarily suspended.

Over the years, Vienna has been home to some of the world’s most famous artists – including Egon Schiele and Koloman Moser, whose works pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in art and society at the time. Besides changing the face of art forever, they are also known for their unflinching depictions of the nude human body. So it hardly comes as any surprise to learn that some of their artworks fell foul of the censors over 100 years ago. And the battle against censorship still rages on: with the rise of social media, bans like these are back in headlines once again. Major social media channels like Instagram and Facebook have nudity and “lewd” content firmly in their sights.
posted by 15L06 (24 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Forgot to add: the link goes to the Vienna Tourist Board Press release, not to onlyfans. The press release contains a Video, but not auto playing, of art with nudity.
posted by 15L06 at 1:13 AM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]


God, it's so weird how most internet users are freer and open about nudity and sex than ever before, but institutions are moving hard to restrict content with nudity. The usual excuse given is to stop human trafficking, but geez, how is censoring art of the human form contributing to that??
posted by JHarris at 2:20 AM on October 18, 2021 [15 favorites]


institutions are moving hard to restrict content with nudity

The institutions in question here are Instagram and Facebook—the link points out that the physical works "are on show for all to see in the capital" and even offers free tickets to the museums displaying them. Clever bit of promotion by the Vienna tourism board.
posted by rory at 2:35 AM on October 18, 2021 [9 favorites]


I was speaking more generally, the problem is far worse than just Instagram and Facebook. Tumblr, almost OnlyFans a short while ago, and credit card processors have been cracking down hard. It's known that at least some of the furor is right-wing interests choosing to push for certain particular, socially-acceptable reasons for censorship, but with the ulterior motive of reducing all nudity and sex content throughout the internet, which explains why an art gallery is coming under fire.
posted by JHarris at 2:46 AM on October 18, 2021 [9 favorites]


temporarily suspended

I believe there's a section on OnlyFans for that.
posted by chavenet at 3:32 AM on October 18, 2021 [9 favorites]


This is yet another form of American cultural imperialism: a small number of US-based megacorporations unilaterally deciding what is appropriate for a global audience, based on the laughably prudish prevailing attitude towards nudity in the USA. Fucking pearl clutchers.
posted by jklaiho at 3:43 AM on October 18, 2021 [34 favorites]


Here are two examples of exhibitions that led to Tourist Board making the move to fansonly
The Body Electric - Erwin Osen and Egon Schiele (Link to digital exhibition but was in show until end of September. Contains male and female nudes, and graphic portrait drawings of seminude inmates of psychiatric wards comissioned by a psychiatrist)


Egon Schiele, Highlights of the Belvedere collection

Another one is the exhibition Modigliani - the primitivist revolution, at the Albertina.
The link goes to the Albertina Museum, the nude featured there is also used for advertising the exhibition here in Vienna. The poster is eg. hung in public transport stations.

The Vienna Life Ball 2014 was advertised publicly all over Vienna with a poster by David LaChapelle, showing a person with both breasts and a penis.

The various institutions, museums, etc are partially funded by the municipality of Vienna and promoted by the Austrian Tourist Board. The (social democratic) city government has always taken great pride in an open approach to nudity in art.
posted by 15L06 at 3:43 AM on October 18, 2021 [4 favorites]


The Vienna municipality also has a long tradition of supporting LGBTQ+ in a public and very visible way.

All this is under threat. Whilst Vienna itself is still governed by the social democrats, in a federal level
it is precarious since the conservatives came to power in 2017. The Kurz government are actively eroding and undermining the social safety net. Kurz stepped down last week but his minions are still hard at work.
If you read German check out the chats , or view a reading of some choice morsels by actors of the National Theater.

All the chats are between then Austrian Federal chancellor Kurz, his cabinet members, and some with a pollster (named as B.). The prosecutors office is investigating Kurz for masterminding a conspiracy to influence the 2016 elections. Fact is they paid through fake invoices with government funds to manipulate polls to influence the elections in 2016. Their scheme was successful, the social democrats lost.

Fun fact: Kurz visited Trump twice, for no discernible reason. Makes me upset for the waste of my tax Money.
posted by 15L06 at 4:02 AM on October 18, 2021 [8 favorites]


I'm sure someone has at some stage used Vienna as their porn star name.
posted by acb at 5:38 AM on October 18, 2021


I'm sure someone has at some stage used Vienna as their porn star name.

Vienna Vagina is right there for the taking
posted by scruffy-looking nerfherder at 5:55 AM on October 18, 2021


Fucking pearl clutchers.

The true division in the US is between the puritanical hedonists and the hedonistic puritans. Heaven help you if you get them mixed up.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:02 AM on October 18, 2021 [15 favorites]


Vienna Vagina is right there for the taking

Not to mention Vienna Sausage.
posted by dobbs at 6:33 AM on October 18, 2021 [13 favorites]


I wonder if there is any practical benefit from posting this campaign on Onlyfans, other than the publicity (copying pornhub's museum nudes stunt). I'm guessing no, not really.

I follow Jerry Saltz the art critic on Instagram, and he pretty much only posts nudes. It looks like he has a history of testing the boundaries (and shaming the platform when they flag something.) I think the Vienna tourist board's stuff would stay up no problem.
posted by anhedonic at 6:39 AM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]


YAY I get to tell my story about art being a victim of automated moderation!

A friend was talking about crazy art, and I chimed in to mention Bernini's 1634 baldacchino over the high altar in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Like the Vatican one. I was trying to post a series of pictures of the coats of arms on the plinths. And Facebook refused to let me post them for violating community standards because the pictures were too sexually graphic!

Which I mean, they deadass are, Bernini carved 8 sets of female genitalia under his coats of arms and put them around the high altar in the middle of St. Peter's (they are not satyr's masks, don't let prim Victorian art historians fool you), but OH MY GOD, they've been at eye level in the middle of the Vatican since 1634, everybody's already seen them!

It was honestly the greatest moment in automated content moderation I can possibly imagine, that I was forbidden from posting Renaissance art from THE HIGH ALTAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LITERAL VATICAN because it's TOO SEXY.

Anyway, big companies are terrible at content moderation, and Facebook: More Prudish Than The Pope. Links are obviously NSFW ... if you work at Facebook.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:49 AM on October 18, 2021 [27 favorites]


(It did eventually let me post them if I posted them one at a time -- apparently a composite of all 8 was too much stone vag for the AI to cope with. So one stone vag is okay, but 8 is too sexy, and somewhere between those two numbers is where facebook's AI draws the line, having decided you're either posting gargoyle porn or sex trafficking 93-ton sculptures.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:04 AM on October 18, 2021 [8 favorites]


There's a whole other level of public nudity that is acceptable in Austria, up to and including the popular 'FKK Beaches' (Freikörperkultur, or Free Body Culture). I had some friends who went to the local FKK beach and they said that it uncomfortable to see their bank manager in the nude. I can understand how this sort of culture gets annoyed at the wholesale prudery of American online culture.

Also I should say that this is actually quite a good deal for a Vienna city card.
posted by The River Ivel at 7:23 AM on October 18, 2021 [2 favorites]


Links are obviously NSFW ... if you work at Facebook.

I actually laughed at this. They're not safe for work if you work as a Facebook engineer on Facebook's campus. The nightmare diesel they turn a blind eye to or foist off on the contracted content moderators they consider disposable is wildly worse than anything as mildly prurient as an artistic nude. For some people it might be about puritanism; for Facebook it's about avoiding accountability.

If Facebook's engineers had to spend two days every quarter moderating Facebook content, Facebook wouldn't exist in a year and Facebook knows it.
posted by mhoye at 7:24 AM on October 18, 2021 [4 favorites]


I'm always amused that Instagram won't allow uncovered breasts but if the poster puts a tiny white dot right over the nipples, then it's OK. How many executive meetings did it take to establish that exact rule?
posted by octothorpe at 8:19 AM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]


I'm always amused that Instagram won't allow uncovered breasts but if the poster puts a tiny white dot right over the nipples, then it's OK. How many executive meetings did it take to establish that exact rule?

The best was when someone cut and pasted male nipples over the female nipples. All of a sudden, no problem!
posted by dobbs at 9:13 AM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]


I once had a Tumblr post censored for linking to an image of a well-known composition of the Graces.

Which reminds me of ProZD's classic Terry Tumblr and the Male-Presenting Nipples skit.
posted by praemunire at 9:14 AM on October 18, 2021 [3 favorites]


I used to work for the Met Opera, as part of the Digital Marketing team. For about a year, we kept running into issues with uploading performance clips onto Facebook and Instagram. They'd be muted and flagged as copyright violations. The problem, of course, is that these were new recordings made in our opera house, with our orchestra, our singers, and often of music that was hundreds of years old, and therefore out of copyright. I don't know how it was eventually resolved—or if it was—but it's clear whatever algorithm Facebook was using to identify copyrighted material was insanely naïve.

The same thing is happening with nudity and art online. People talk about how AI is going to revolutionize the world, but really, all it's doing is making the same stupid mistakes real humans would make, faster, and with far less accountability. Nobody is going to be scarred by seeing a picture of Michelangelo's David and its marble dick, and nobody is having their copyright infringed by an opera company sharing a recording of a rehearsal of Bizet's Carmen. It's a combination of capitalist greed, techno-optimism whitewashing away bias, and general overall prudishness both among regulators and advertisers, and something has to give.
posted by SansPoint at 9:46 AM on October 18, 2021 [7 favorites]


I used to work for the Met Opera, as part of the Digital Marketing team. For about a year, we kept running into issues with uploading performance clips onto Facebook and Instagram.

I mean, anyone who uploads content with Classical music in it experiences this, at least a little bit. The problem is that audio fingerprinting abstracts the signal down to a point where it is easy to match a snippet of one performance with a snippet of another performance of the same piece at roughly the same tempo. The algorithm decides that your recording infringes on another one from :23-:30 or some such thing. And of course other people's recordings of classical music are copyrighted, it doesn't matter that the composer is long dead.

YouTube is good about dealing with this in an automated way. You get notified of the copyright claim, and you can respond to the automated interface and say "nuh uh, it is not that source, it is from my source." Then a human from the opposing team has to read your message and decide whether they want to pursue the dispute. I've knocked down a few dozen claims through this process and never lost.

Sounds like your team might have had a better workflow if they posted to youtube first, then posted that to facebook.
posted by anhedonic at 10:22 AM on October 18, 2021 [4 favorites]


Several friends on Facebook post art images and get hit by bans for nudity. These are always unpredictable.

One posted Nick Ut's famous photo of the American war in Vietnam, the one of a napalm attack where a naked Phan Thị Kim Phúc runs down a road towards the camera, and FB blocked it for nudity. The friend gave up at that point.
posted by doctornemo at 1:08 PM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]


This is yet another form of American cultural imperialism: a small number of US-based megacorporations unilaterally deciding what is appropriate for a global audience, based on the laughably prudish prevailing attitude towards nudity in the USA. Fucking pearl clutchers.

Yeah, this is so, so disgusting. They're usurping Western Europe's authority to set moral standards for the entire world.
posted by cinchona at 2:00 PM on October 18, 2021 [3 favorites]


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