Currently, I’m in a battle to the death with Facebook. There’s an ongoing debate regarding restrictions and purging on social media. Under the guise of homeland security and ‘community standards’, not surprisingly the GLBTQ+ community has been targeted disproportionally. Somehow, we’re lumped into algorithms that remove hate speech and hate groups. I’ve never understood how nudity and sexuality are as harmful as racism?
I’d personally been targeted when the Advocate ran images from my exhibition Rick Castro: Fetish King (at Tom House last April). I posted a link to the story on my Facebook page. Immediately, they took it down with a tag that read ‘against community standards’, even though the Advocate is a fifty-year-old national magazine, and the image was no more provocative than Madonna, except it was with two men. Subsequently, I was banned for thirty days. The advocate then suggested I write a statement about censorship, which ran in the next posting
Someone on my behalf posted this statement on my page – I couldn’t since I was banned –, and Facebook immediately removed this link and banned me for an additional thirty days, even though I didn’t, nor couldn’t post. Numerous comrades also tried to post on their personal pages. All were removed. My gallerist, Lisa Derrick, tried to post and was banned for three days. She contacted the LA Weekly – the largest independent newspaper in Los Angeles –, who in turn contacted Facebook asking to explain. Facebook apologized to the LA Weekly (not to me) and said they were mistaken, my postings did not go against community standards. To put into perspective, since the elections of Trumpworld, November 8th, 2016, which I call Black Friday, I’ve been censored and banned from Facebook twenty-three times!