What photographers should do when blocked in Facebook
Yes, I am on yet another suspension/ban on Facebook for some of the pictures I posted from this weekend’s Steampunk Exhibition Ball.
Facebook is an amazing tool for getting the word out about your art, but it comes at a price. The ironic thing is that people can post pictures of abortions, abused and tortured animals, drugs, drinking, the night they were DUI, but post a little side boob, or god forbid a nipple no matter how accidental and that is a banning.
While there are humans that look over what is flagged and reported, this is the gallery that initially got me into trouble so you can check it out. It is also one of my favorite ones from the show, so of course I want to share it. I think it is awesome and wonderful, and some really good work on my part. Other banning events included a picture of the Freemont Summer Solstice Parade, really you had to blow the picture up 300% and you only had a 1 pixel nipple, but that is a banning.
First calm down, relax take a break, and then delete everything that is even remotely sanction able out of your data stream. When you are shut down you usually have read only access to your data stream, and you have read/write/delete out of your time line. You can do this only through the web browser; you cannot do this through the mobile interface. Once done, just sit back and wait out your suspension.
Ask yourself when you have calmed down a bit, gotten over the sense of “who reported that picture/gallery?” that feels like betrayal, and have everything cleaned up so that your Facebook page is PG 13 again, do I really need Facebook?
Take a look at your stats, when I am posting maybe 1% of all my picture views come from Facebook, the most come from Google, G+, and internal system searches at Flickr and Smugmug. If you look at your stats, how many people are really seeing your work, if you have a photographer page, you can see your stats through insights. The other thing to remember is that just because they saw it on Facebook does not mean they interacted with your gallery on other sites. The other thing you can do is simply remove the preview of the gallery if it seems that it might be over PG 13.
I take a lot of pictures of subcultures, because I believe they need to be documented. I also do a lot of modeling work lately, and usually I shoot Rated R or X pictures. They are not for children, but rarely full on nude pictures. I take pictures of burlesque dancers and punk rockers, the homeless and the destitute; I do a little urban exploration, and otherwise have a good time with my camera. The majority of the stuff I post can go on Facebook as links back to the gallery in question.
Sometimes you just have to think that your normal is not everyone else’s normal, and that can cost you down time with Facebook.
Think before you post, if there is a possibility that someone could be offended by your picture, not only are you doing photography right, but you face a high probability that Facebook will shut you down for a day or two.
Post to G+, post to Deviant Art, post to 500PX, post to Flickr and Smugmug, post everywhere but Facebook. G+ is a lot more photographer friendly, and they seem to be a little bit more ok with R rated pictures. God forbid Facebook ever opens up a search engine, because it will be a happy Disney wonderland of PG 13 material content. Stick with the places that work, and if in doubt, don’t post, and if you post, remove the preview of the link. Or just abandon Facebook altogether and go someplace more photographer friendly.
Facebook has banned or shut down a lot of famous photographers, internationally recognized, national geographic type photographers, we are small fry, and they won’t even hesitate to do it in the future as we march towards a plain vanilla experience over there.