A Boston Museum Asks Instagram to Allow Photos by Imogen Cunningham

The algorithms of social networks considered the works of a famous American photographer to be prohibited content.

The administration of the Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts asked Instagram to unblock the photographs by American photographer Imogen Cunningham, which were published on the museum’s account to advertise the exhibition of her works. Artnet writes that several photographs were censored for containing nudity, which the algorithms recognized as prohibited content.

“We [contacted both Facebook and Instagram] and said we’re a verified fine arts museum, and we wanted to have a discussion with Facebook and Instagram about their community standards. We didn’t really get a response,” the MFA says. “These images are so subtle and beautiful and so abstract. They’re all about shapes—about turning the body into something that’s really confounding and difficult even to read as a body.”

This is not the first occasion when Facebook and Instagram receive criticism for questionable rules for publishing content. Previously, posts containing a photograph of Little Mermaid sculpture in Copenhagen, a painting called The Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet, a Rubens painting, a video with paintings from the 15th-19th centuries, as well as a photograph of children who are running away from a napalm bomb explosion during the Vietnam War were also censored.

In early March, Prestel Publishing even published a separate book dedicated to photographs that were removed from Instagram.

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