When Rick Castro shared our article about his upcoming exhibition opening this Saturday at Tom of Finland Foundation, Facebook barred him from his account for 30 days. There was nothing in the promotional image of sexual content or nudity.
For better or, (mostly) worse, the largest social media platforms have become the dictators of culture for the early 21st century. They do this by deciding who and what can be posted. Ironic since WWW (worldwide web) was created as a way for everyone to express whatever they want to without corporate input.
These social media platforms have become the harshest censors using Trumpworld’s Russian hackers as excuse to remove content. Homeland security may be the impetus, but this quickly overreached to include sexual content.
Social media uses faux community standards and religion as justification for discriminatory practices that are blatantly hypocritical. Not surprisingly LGBTQ postings have become the hardest hit with rampant over-censorship and arbitrary removals.
This is unfortunately nothing new. “Blame the gays” rhetoric has been part of the American justice scapegoating for as long as we care to remember.
I have always been, and always will be, a sex positive artist.
My exhibit at Tom of Finland Foundation, “Fetish King: Seminal Photographs 1986 – 2019”, is a comprehensive journey of my photography. Besides the themes of BDSM, lust, and desire, I am presenting an in-your-face pushback to American censorship. If we accept these restrictions as a community, we’re doomed.
— Rick Castro, April 2, 2019