Nudes clothed in protest of web censorship

SHANGHAI (AFP) – Chinese Internet users angered by censorship in cyberspace have dressed up images of famous renaissance nudes in a protest against Beijing’s crackdown on “vulgar” online content.

Images posted as part of the protest include Michelangelo’s statue “David” shown in a Mao suit while black socks and a strategically placed necktie were added to the artist’s depiction of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The protest began last week after a user of the social networking site Douban.com complained that images of several paintings, including Titian’s nude “Venus of Urbino,” had been deleted from an online photo album.

According to blogs on the site, Douban’s administrators had told the user that posting pornography would endanger the site’s operations.

In response, protest’s organisers asked Internet users to clothe artwork to “save” it from the censors, who have shut down 1,635 websites and 200 blogs in a one-month campaign against content that “harms public morality.”

[From by : Yahoo! Tech ]

An interesting protest to combat the idiocy of internet filtering. China’s mandatory filtering has been extended to include traditional fine art including the David, the Sistine Chapel and other pieces that are only considered humorously obscene on the Simpsons. what saddens me, however, is not so much the regulations in China, a country renowned for heavy personal restrictions and censorship, but the fact that this may also become the case here in Australia. For a while now there has been talk of putting a mandatory filter on all australian internet to filter out anything on a secret government blacklist. the government will have the power to arbitrarily change whatever is filtered on the cleanfeed. this sounds like an insane plan from the pen of George Orwell but this “clean filter” has become less of a case of maybe and more a case of “when”. despite the protests, despite the fact that this will do very little to block actual criminal activity and illegal porn, despite the fact that it will slow our internet speeds substantially, the government is spending 128 million on a flawed plan. 128 mil that could go towards internet education, towards helping protect against fraud or helping support the online units that are sadly undermanned. 128 mil that could go towards helping the people who have lost everything in the fires.
If you are wondering why I am writing about this here, it is because I don’t want to clothe my nudes, even as a protest! we already know how the government feels about nude art, how long will it be before artists like me are filtered out?
you can find out more information and do your part to protest here: http://nocleanfeed.com/ or follow the #nocleanfeed conversation on twitter
There is good news in China though, I hope that when it’s our turn our protests will be as effective.

“Netizens in China are becoming more and more innovative in their ways of protesting against censorship authorities’ arbitrary use of power,” blogger Catherine Yeung wrote in a comment on the protest campaign.
And the protest has had an almost immediate effect.
By Thursday (local time), the Shanghai user whose renaissance album started the controversy said Douban had allowed the deleted paintings to be shown in their original form.

(when did this become a political blog?)

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