It’s with much sadness that I knew Playboy won’t publish photos of naked women any longer.
I remember the magazine was one of my aesthetic basis related to quality photography of women and models, and which I follow since I was a boy.
What makes me sad about that is that this decision probably arises from the wrong reason, it goes against everything that Hugh Hefner has ever believed in: the freedom of expression. I believe the reason for this decision making, besides the unfair rivalry, is that the web’s largest organizations do not allow ads disclosure of website with adult content, which they see unfit for the online environment.
Some of the largest American companies turn their noses to sexy and nude contents – I’ll speak here specifically about the social media channels Facebook and Instagram, and technology giants Apple and Google. These companies think they are able to decide about what their users can see or publish, they believe they can act as judges, deciding what’s right or wrong.
I know sexy or nudity contents shouldn’t be left open for all people and ages, but there are several people of age who wish to access and/or publish content like these, and who do not feel offended in seeing a naked woman, or a topless model.
In order for this disclosure to occur without the risk of ‘harming’ the general users, the solution is quite simple: the users themselves should be able to check or uncheck an option in their Facebook, Google or AppStore settings. They would either check for seeing adult content, or check for not seeing it. If the user chose to publish or share such content in his/her social media, he/she would be held responsible, for example, for classifying the publication as being of adult content, under penalty and cancelation of the account.
The companies dealing with sensual and adult contents face many challenges when it comes to releasing news, publicity images or videos about its content in the websites of the aforementioned organizations – and that, I believe, is a sign of prejudice and censorship, a decision injuring the users’ rights.
I don’t think it’s correct what these companies are doing, having the right to judge and decide if you can or can’t disclose content. This judgment belongs to the user – who can, by him/herself, decide what kind of publication he/she wants to have access to.
Companies developing apps for smartphones are also victims of Apple and Google – two of the Internet’s biggest companies who say what kind of apps can be developed for iPhone and Android systems, as well as not allowing the publication of sensual and nudity content into apps owned by their stores.
The smartphone is mine, not Apple’s or Google’s. I, as a consumer and user, am the one who should decide what I wish to add to my phone. If you think about, in no time these companies will be dictating which websites we can or cannot access from our phones or even from our home computers.
The same happens with personal profiles and professional Facebook and Instagram pages. This profile, and this page belong to the person and/or organization, therefore the decision about what they post it’s theirs and only theirs. People should have the right to choose for themselves if they agree or not with the content they see, if they wish to see it or not, and if they want to follow this or that page or profile.
Lastly, I would like to say it once more: the user has the right to decide about what he/she sees, about what he/she posts, and about what he/she installs into his/her devices – free of censorship or prejudice, and with total freedom of expression.
Bella Club’s CEO
The largest men's magazine in Brazil