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Vienna turns to OnlyFans to promote art for its museums

Vienna turns to OnlyFans to promote art for its museums

After being censored on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, Vienna's tourism board took the decision to access OnlyFans to promote indecent art.

After having content walkouts from Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for publishing artwork showing nudity, the Vienna Tourist Board is shifting to OnlyFans to emphasize the graphic works of art on exhibition in the city’s museums. On the OnlyFans account, the city tourism board voluntarily publishes pictures of artwork by Modigliani, Richard Gerstl, Egon Schiele, and Koloman Moser. These paintings were labeled as inappropriate or even pornographic by traditional social media platforms.

Why chose OnlyFans? Because it is a platform known for giving space to artists to post graphically explicit content. The platform is sustained by donations from subscribers. In the case of Vienna, subscribers can even win a city transport card or a gifted ticket at the museum, according to the tourism board.

Wanna know more? You can find their statement on the website, where the tourism board says that Vienna has been home to creators that have made works of art pushing the boundaries of what is and what isn't "acceptable", especially when it comes to social norms. So, if this art was censored for a hundred years ago, why should it be inaccessible to the public eye even today? If social media cannot host these works of art, they must find another home, a more welcoming one. It is a battle against censorship that institutions like museums have to face even today.

For NBC News, Helena Hartlauer - representative for the Vienna Tourist Board, said that social media was a key instrument for museums to continue showing art while sticking to social distancing procedures. However, social media accounts for some of the museums in Austria, like the Albertina and the Leopold Museum, have been suspended for posting paintings including nudity.

What's more, TikTok suspended Albertina museum's account in July after it banned it for posting videos showing some of the works of Nobuyoshi Araki - artist and photographer. His topics were often naked women.

If you're not familiar with it, Instagram’s content policy mentions that “nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures” are allowed. However, in 2019 the platform banned the museum’s post about a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, considering that it violated the community rules. Prior to this, in 2018, Vienna’s Natural History Museum published an image of the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf, a work of art representing motherhood and fertility, which later Facebook considered to be pornographic. The post was obviously removed. This year, Facebook also flagged the Leopold Museum’s post showing a painting by Moser. This was also considered as "potentially pornographic.” Unfortunately, it all depends on the algorithms that determine what is alright to see in public and what is not. But there are debates on whether these algorithms should interfere with culture and artistic heritage. Many have expressed worries about the social media platforms' policies and regulations, as they might unknowingly censor artistic expression and limit one's work of art. But is it worth it? What do you think?

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November 18, 2022
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