AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Only a little while after Saudi Arabia decided to unblock Flickr, the UAE decided to block it! Not a good day for freedom of speech, especially since it is the Emirate users of Flickr who asked UAE ISP to block Flickr, claiming that some people post nudity that is not appropriate for the eyes of the citizens of the UAE!

I say, bullshit.

I’ve been keeping up with this “syndrome” since I saw that a UAE-national residing in England who started campaigning against Flickr was actually getting a lot of support. I was indeed shocked at some of the reactions and support that he received, especially since Flickr has a mindblowing number of users from the UAE.

Many lengthy threads have been formed on Flickr pertaining to this topic, a lot of which have already been deleted(ha, especially now since the expat campaigners who got it blocked are happily posting pictures away in England, Canada, and the US!) There are now several ways around the UAE ISP censorship, and they’re even collecting money to create a UAE Flickr.

Personally, I believe the difference between nudity and pornography is huge. Some of the world’s greatest artwork consists of depictions and sculptures of nude figures created before the dawn of time- way before the Arabs, Christianity, the West, Islam, or the UAE ever came to be. Tasteful nudity is a part of the history of the world, the culture of the world, and even the Muslim culture if I may say so- we have many examples of nude Muslim art going back to the time of the Ummayyads! I think it is not an issue of nudity as much as it is an issue of inability to distinguish been tastefulness and pornography, it it an issue of lack of appreciation, horrible schooling, and priorities gone wrong!

Anyhow, regardless of the culture issue, is blocking Flickr really the right way to combat pornography? Flickr, by its terms of use, clearly states that pornography or anything indecent is not allowed, and users can easily flag nudity as “Over 18” and enable the “Over 18 toggle” option. There are many ways to access porn through other less discrete sources, and if someone is looking for it, there are many ways to find it. Having the ISP block a nonpornographic websites like Flickr makes it seem like the consenting adults in the UAE are like children that can’t make up their own minds and can’t filter their own content! Opressing is a stupid way to deal with problems.

Lastly, I find it ironic that the people campaigning against nudity are practicing something that in my opinion is one of the most morally disgusting practices- hypocracy. The England resident, for example, was the person who started the campaign against Flickr by using such images such as the one below and by various threads, all of which have now been deleted.

After the onset of the blockage, this person has decided that to change his opinion!

I am really, really pissed off.

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2 Comments

  1. I have like 5 friends who used flickr for the sake of art — Sharing their awesome photography. And wandering through Emarati or UAE residents galleries make me see how talented most of them are!

    It’s so damn ironic, Dubai has a huge Prostitution-Mafia infrastructure, and this is what’s keeping it alive along with the oil this day…
    They are even thinking of blocking deviantART as well — So many guys living there are totally devistated…

    there are hell many ways,
    Proxy Avoidance sites exist in tonnes! and thank God many are getting access to flickr updating.

    Now about the nudity part,
    which funny how taking back a time machine to June 2005!

    I don’t blame the ancient guys, who made almost all their statues and art pieces containing nudity…Still though, after the surfacing of many religions. Christianity as well, many and until this day insist on being contraversial (misspell?) depicting nudity in one way or another…

    DaVinci for example used it in depicting his boyfriend (as far as I remember) or one of the boys who used to have them around. There’s this artist which I forgot, he made a huge painting claiming that it’s Prophet Loot and his two daughters — Nude — having relations!!!! t5ayyali!?!?! I mean, WHY?! LOL

    As far as today, I can’t believe anybody’s hearts to be made of gold. Because seriously, it’s hard to slice off nudity from eroticism this day! And I just can’t find a reason for a girl to be out in the nude, embracing her ‘naturality’ and posing in one way or another. I might sound really pissed off, because girls with flash cameras and their beds are snapping and claiming to be ‘natural’ — As well as many who seem just to concentrate on the fact that it’s a nude! I dunno why, I didn’t use to mind it before, hassa I am totally against it!

    Bass i can’t argue with you, since you’re Liberal and I might be considered as Very Conservative, bass you probably get me when I mention exploitation…

    OOh, and btw–
    this whole discussion includes Male nudes as well…Guys happy with their pubic hair shooting out. LOL

  2. leen

    hey roba.
    just wanted to tell that FEE BARNAMEJ HL2 MENTASHER HON B DUBAI BEFTA7 KOL EL MWAKE3 EL MAMNOO3A W ANA MESHTERKEH FEEH :)
    cause fe3ln kteeeeeeeeer byakha enek tfooty 3 mawke3 w ma te2dary tefta7ee.
    im really late to add a comment here now :) i mean its before 2 years or three :) but i couldn’t stop myself to tell u about it.

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