(Note: This is an update of a post from September 2018)
I've been thinking about this for almost a year, when the blogging site Tumblr did a house cleaning towards the end of 2018 of all the porn on their site. This was very surprising by many, because porn was mostly what it's reputation was known for, in addition to being the place for art and photography. However, I could clearly see how this porn content was keeping the site, like many others, from being profitable and from serving a wider audience.
It surprisingly has been almost twenty years since I started to share my photographs online, and in recent years it has become more difficult to find a platform that does not want to be all things to everyone. Instead, they use the word tolerance which they really don't mean at all. Let me briefly explain.
So the way they did it I think was right, they drew the hard line with these brilliant words: "As a global platform for creativity and self-expression, Tumblr is deeply committed to supporting and protecting freedom of speech. At the same time, we draw lines around a few narrowly defined but deeply important categories of content and behavior that jeopardize our users, threaten our infrastructure, and damage our community."
That last sentence is what these sites are all about: building community and keeping in touch with like minded people from around the globe. This is easier said than done, and Tumblr had been struggling for several years and through a few owners, the latest being Verizon. They (Verizon), short of the long, fell into some legal issues with regards to the porn and children, and thus was looking to sell the site, so I sensed they realized they had to do something to find a buyer - remove the porn.
As of next week the company who owns WordPress.com will be the new owner of Tumblr, and in my opinion I don't think this would happen with all the porn on the site. In fact, they even say that it's not coming back. If a site wants to host this kind of content, it is best that it do only that. More on this in a moment.
Now the reason I saw this coming, was because back a few years ago when I was the moderator for the artist groups on the worlds larges art site, the photographers who created what is known as erotic art would always push the boundaries ... the truth is that erotic, or what is sometimes called Boudoir photography, is really just porn. Some call it soft porn, but there is no soft about it. This constant pushback is one of the reasons I left my position as the groups moderator.
So there are very few sites, like Tumblr, who say there are plenty of other sites that host this content, go there. And they are right. If you do an internet search for erotic you will find pages of sites. The definition is: "Eroticism is a quality that causes sexual feelings, as well as a philosophical contemplation concerning the aesthetics of sexual desire, sensuality and romantic love. That quality may be found in any form of artwork, including painting, sculpture, photography, drama, film, music or literature. It may also be found in advertising. The term may also refer to a state of sexual arousal or anticipation of such – an insistent sexual impulse, desire, or pattern of thoughts. As French novelist Honoré de Balzac stated, eroticism is dependent not just upon an individual's sexual morality, but also the culture and time in which an individual resides.
So let me make this more digestible. I believe there is a place here for glamour photography, with their clothes on, as God made 'man' to appreciate the beauty of the human body. But here is the thing: most of the erotic photos are of women, with their clothes off or at least see through, and the photographers I have known who make these images view her as an object of perfection, and not as a person - they can't stop getting enough of it, and often fall into health issues. Plus, this causes an illness of epidemic proportions with the viewers of this content, mostly because of the suggestive poses and the subject matter.
So, I have been told that I am not 'normal' when I share on these sites that when I see a picture of a woman with this erotic art that comes through my feed, how I see her as another man's daughter. She is a person with value who deserves more dignity than the lies she is being subjected to. In a sentence, and to be more harsh, this causes everyone else in the community eye's to sin.
So, again, when I start to speak up about this, I'm asked to be more tolerant (or this is what they think they mean without saying the word). The definition of toleration is: "Toleration is the acceptance of an action, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with, where one is in a position to disallow it but chooses not to."
But this is not what they mean, as there is a new meaning. The real goal here with the new meaning of tolerance is not acceptance but submission. It's not about having to "get along" or tolerate quietly. You must approve. It is known as The 'Gospel' of Tolerance.
I like how this article says it: "Well here's a radical piece of truth for you: tolerance is not a virtue. It's not a moral victory to acquiesce to evil. .....
"We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty -- these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it's never an end in itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil."
- Archbishop Chaput
....It used to be that we could hate the sin and love the sinner, but the problem is now we're not allowed to hate the sin anymore! We have to love the sin, celebrate the sin, and above all, stop calling it sin!"
So now there are some photo sites who are saying "no pornography", but they are allowing nudes and erotic art, and they are filtering it away from the eyes of children. Yes, you read that right. In other words, as an adult a man should not see a woman without clothes on, unless it is his wife and in the marriage bed, and they excuse this truth by saying it is protecting children.
Likewise, the art site I worked with allows artistic nudes and works to remove the rest I just talked about, yet they still experience the load this subject puts on the entire community, as members come on the discussion forum to address it. This is why these photography sites need to follow the lead of sites like Tumblr and protect their own community.
And here is the interesting thing I have noticed, on Tumblr the blogs which had the porn either left or the women and men put their clothes back on. The site seems to be doing fine, and now is owned by the largest web tool development company that helps connect publishers to communities around the world.
Enjoy your day, you won't get it back,
Tolerance Square Color Photograph Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella
Frank J Casella's Email address is email@example.com. To find out more about Frank J Casella visit his online profile at frankjcasella.crevado.com