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Photographer Rankin launches gallery to celebrate the female body of those who are censored

Celebrity photographer Rankin unveils exhibit of images ‘dishonestly’ censored on social media

  • Photographer Rankin has curated a gallery of images that have been censored
  • THE UNSEEN Highlights Unfair Social Media Censorship
  • Topics like tackling the female body and misogyny are high on the artist’s list

Celebrity photographer Rankin has unveiled an exhibit featuring images “wrongly” censored on social media.

British photographer, real name John Rankin Waddell, who has worked with Kate Moss, Madonna, David Bowie and the Queen, said: ‘Censorship is a tool, but one that is often unintentionally used to silence marginalized voices. ‘

Statistics have shown that 29.6 percent of content related to the female body and experiences related to sexism or misogyny have been removed. One in 10 posts about homophobia are also deleted.

Beija London had this image removed after it was labeled as 'adult content'.  The brand appealed, but nothing happened

Beija London had this image removed after it was labeled as ‘adult content’. The brand appealed, but nothing happened

This image of lesbian photographer Renee Jacobs was censored mostly for nudity and once for 'asking for sex work'.  Renee explains that even her tame, most censored images are pulled

This image of lesbian photographer Renee Jacobs was censored mostly for nudity and once for ‘asking for sex work’. Renee explains that even her tame, most censored images are pulled

THE UNSEEN highlights this breadth and of censorship, and those who have joined the community show the main reasons why marginalized people feel they are being censored.

Lingerie brands such as Beija London are featured in the gallery, after having images removed for ‘adult content’.

The brand said: “Social media and advertising giants are a major force in shaping how women are represented.

‘Female ‘nudity’ is managed in such a way that the images we are presented with are heavily censored and often totally hypersexualized.

“Female nipples” and “too much exposed skin” would all be considered a violation of community guidelines, regardless of the intent. Our brand is constantly punished for this, which affects our reach as an independent brand.’

This image by photographer AdeY has been removed because the platform found it unsafe and sexuality explicit.  The photographer explains that their work is not this battle and has been fighting for many years and once wrote a public letter to Instagram

This image by photographer AdeY has been removed because the platform found it unsafe and sexuality explicit. The photographer explains that their work is not this battle and has been fighting for many years and once wrote a public letter to Instagram

Lesbian photographer Renee Jacobs has also had her work censored on social media.

She has had pictures drawn, mainly for nudity, but once for ‘asking for sex work’.

Renee explains that she has never knowingly or intentionally broken social media rules.

She said: ‘There is no doubt that heavy-handed censorship has a chilling effect on gay speech, thinking and acting. The algorithms are mindless and childish.’

This image of Imogen Rolfe was censored because it violated community guidelines.  The artist said: 'It was really discouraging because during the pandemic my account and my art business grew steadily and it was the only thing that kept me going'

This image of Imogen Rolfe was censored because it violated community guidelines. The artist said: ‘It was really discouraging because during the pandemic my account and my art business grew steadily and it was the only thing that kept me going’

Samra Lovelady woke up one morning to find that Instagram had deleted her fitness account for no reason.  She reveals that this had a huge impact on her life as she used the account to deal with her depression

Samra Lovelady woke up one morning to find that Instagram had deleted her fitness account for no reason. She reveals that this had a huge impact on her life as she used the account to deal with her depression

UNSEEN Community Member Dr. Carolina Are said, “It’s a continuous, frustrating game of swat-a-mole with platforms, so much so that I’ve mixed my PhD in online abuse mitigation with my experiences with censorship.”

Rankin added: “We’ve had an incredible response so far and we’re just getting started. This is an important issue, and those affected deserve a voice in the policies that affect them on the platforms they love and build their business on.”

The project has generated incredible interest, even in its early stages, with hundreds of people from around the world sharing their stories and joining the discussion.

  • The exhibition is open to the public at Quantus Gallery 11-29 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX.

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