Internet Trolling 101

Last night we posted a photo on Facebook, and it was flagged and removed. We had found the photo on Twitter, where it had been posted by numerous people we follow and respect. @FreeTheNipple was among the people who had shared this image on Twitter–just to give an idea of the caliber of activists who were spreading this message.

When we first saw this photo, we LOVED it! We never thought twice about putting it up because we saw it as nothing more than a great example of how ridiculous the censorship of the female nipple is.

Prior to coming across this in our news feed, both Robyn and I had looked through our childhood photos trying to see if we could find one where we were topless that we could recreate in present day with our TaTa Tops. Again…it never even crossed our minds that someone would have an issue with this. We merely wanted (and still do!) to demonstrate that the nipples you are born with are the same nipples you have the rest of your life. At what point do they become vulgar or pornographic? At what point are they sexualized?

At some point when you are growing up as a girl you are told you need to start covering your chest. When does this happen? How old are you? Is it with the development of breasts? When we saw the image we eventually posted, we felt that it would help highlight how ridiculous these topless laws are and make people think.

The post received over 300 likes and sparked a debate…which was great. It was shared over 75 times…again, people are thinking and people are discussing. This was exactly what we wanted to have happen.

As with everything on the internet, not everyone who viewed this post agreed with it. One person jumped on and said that this image was “tempting” pedophiles and “promoting child molestation”. Just sit with that for a second so it sinks in.

One person shared this and said they were “visibly shaking that these dumb c*nts thought it was ok to share this”. Again, sit with that for a moment and really let that sink in.

I wanted to put this image back up (although censored as I feel the message is more important than having it flagged and removed again) because I wanted those people to know that it wasn’t my choice that this was removed. It was Facebook’s decision. They decided that this image violated their Community Standards regarding nudity. THIS image. An image that has originated on Facebook from what we have discovered albeit without any wording added. This image that can be found online with the keywords “cute” “glasses” “kids” “photography” …”love”.

Facebook and a select handful of people decided that this image wasn’t safe for anyone to view. Facebook and those select few made the decision for everyone.

For me. And for you.

Censoring this image speaks to so many problems with our world today. We posted a recent article about how Fox and Friends tried desperately to find an issue with a gender neutral bathroom sign:

This sign was an effort to make more people feel more comfortable and accepted. It’s ridiculous that those people weren’t already made to feel comfortable and accepted but to try and make things a little better for a group of people who often become targets for harassment and even violence while using public restrooms….how can you find an issue with that? It’s TRYING to promote changes that will do GOOD.

My point? Some people will have an issue with anything.

There is nothing sexual about this image. Period. You can say that a pedophile will find something sexual with this but I think a pedophile could probably find something sexual in any photo of a child. Afterall, they are a pedophile.

Do we stop posting any photos that happen to have children in it? Should any image of a child anywhere, doing anything, be erased from the internet until people aren’t even aware children exist?

The fact that this image was sexualized for the sole reason that these kids didn’t have shirts on just further highlights how backwards certain parts of our society are. It’s further proof of how obsessed our culture is with nipples. Should a newborn baby girl be immediately stuffed into a training bra so no one in the delivery room gets any sexual urges? It’s disgusting and absurd.

Grow up, Facebook. Grow up, Internet.

by Linze Rice