The Internet seems to offer an incomparable public platform for creativity—an endless virtual art space. But as our use of the web expands, so does our awareness of increasing online censorship. And we’re witnessing how much art is getting caught in the World Wide Web.
Just last month, Facebook censored Cuban artist Erik Ravelo’s controversial photo series addressing violence against children. Each of the photos in Los Intocables (The Untouchables) features a child and an adult posed to demonstrate a contemporary evil. FB halted Likes after 18,000 and banned Ravelo from posting any further images. Now, it appears that the artist has been completely banished from the site.
Iran’s regime devised a censorship code that takes big swipes at online art and culture. According to a Washington Post feature, in Iran, almost half of the 500 most popular sites on the Internet are censored, including a high percentage of sites in the “art,” “society,” and “news” categories.
In China, the Communist Party is cracking down on blogs to reverse the spread of liberal ideas. The government is not just shutting down blog sites. Police forces across the country have detained hundreds of microbloggers. Imagine being arrested for writing about the potential affect on art funding of the current U.S. government shutdown!
You can see for yourself other places where the Web is tightening. Just take a look at Deviant Art’s world map of internet censorship.
We found one possible cure for this choking epidemic:
Weapons of Mouse Destruction, a participatory art project working to rid the world of government Internet censorship. You can participate by posting your censored selfie HERE.