Noam Galai, AOL On Sunday April 21, Amanda Palmer posted a poem to her Tumblr…
- Posted on May 12th 2011 5:45PM by Jason MacNeil
Seeing how "beautiful" the photo was, Palmer decided to post a nude picture of herself on Twitpic being body-painted by an artist as an "experiment." But the picture was removed from Palmer's account moments after being posted.
"For me, what's upsetting is there are things that are obviously not porn that are going to be punished because nobody wants to spend the time or effort to ride the line between what's porn for money versus art for enjoyment," Palmer tells Spinner from a tour stop in Holland.
"What is the difference between porn and erotica? A beautiful picture of your wife where her tits happen to be showing, so what's the decision about something like that?"
The issue has left Palmer wondering where the censorship line is drawn for companies like Yfrog and Twitpic regarding art and pornography. It has also left her rather confused since approximately 100 fans reposted her photo before it was removed, and some of them still have the shot viewable, while others, using the same site, have had it removed.
"That's what's really interesting, especially when you consider kids and teenagers are texting and Twitter-ing all the time. What kind of message are you sending to them about what's healthy and what isn't?"
Palmer was also quick to point out that the censorship problem doesn't lie so much with Twitter as it does associate companies tied into the Twitter universe.
"It's very important to clarify that it's not Twitter at all," she says. "Twitter has never taken down one of my Tweets or has never censored me in anyway. TwitPic, which is obviously its own company like Yfrog -- the secondary services which people are using -- that's where the territory gets shady because they not only have their own rules but human beings underneath those rules making often very rampant decisions over what stays up and what gets pulled down."
Wondering what would happen with the photo, Palmer saw the exercise as "trying to track who was censored and who wasn't."
"You were going, 'Well why this person and not that person?'" she says. "Did it have to do with the number of followers? Did it have to do with the rest of the content or did it have to do with what text is associated with the photo?"
In 2009, Palmer posted a series of photos in real time via Twitter which showed her body covered with phrases fans had sent her through Twitter that she wrote on herself. Palmer doesn't remember if those pictures -- ones she describes as "artistic strip poker" -- were removed as quickly as the recent one.
"If people are going to try and protect certain companies from being taken over by pornography, I totally empathize with that," she says. "On the other hand, if you're sending a message to people that nudity is not okay, that I find harder to stomach."
As for future nude picture posts, Palmer says she might continue to post them as she feels quite comfortable with her body compared to the images other rock and pop artists have of themselves. "I especially find it empowering sharing the pictures of myself that aren't the most flattering and that translate a human message," she says. "I leave in the wrinkles, the flab and I think that tends in an ironic sort of way to send a more powerful message than just air-brushing yourself into a so-called perfection."
And after her May 11 snafu in Amsterdam, it seems Palmer needs to be cautious about more than just posting revealing posts online.
"What they technically nailed me for was an open container," says the singer regarding her arrest during her impromptu "ninja gig" at Dam Square. "A fan handed me a beer which is technically illegal in Holland. It's not illegal in Germany where I actually spend most of my time. I neglected to realize it was probably a stupid thing to be doing given the amount of police around.
"I was very cavalier about the gigs I've been doing. I think it was only a matter of time before they got a little too big and a little too loud -- there's a difference between a circle of 20 people and a crowd of 200."
"I feel a degree of humility in the face of being carted off by a bunch of foreign police," adds Palmer, thankful she was only briefly held at a police station before being fined and released.