Facebook Bans Pictures Of Nirvana's Nevermind Album Cover
Censorship debates never really go away, they just lose steam. As outrage is typically most fervent immediately after an offending product's release, the naysayers have a certain duration of time to prove their case. If they're unable to convince most people of its obscenity, then they lose the battle, at least if the piece in question is important enough to last the test of time. One has to look no further than books to see how this phenomenon works. A lot of people were really upset when The Catcher in the Rye was released in the early 1950s. To this day, it's still challenged in school systems across the country, but because the book burners lost the original battle, their protests are now seen by even most conservative onlookers as idiotic and pointless. The same principal could be applied to the Statue of David or NWA's debut album Straight Outta Compton. There comes a point when you just need to admit defeat, which is why I'm looking at you judgmentally, Facebook.
The largest social networking site in the world caused a load of controversy earlier today when it removed the cover art for Nirvana's beloved 1991 record Nevermind. The artwork, depicting a naked baby in the water reaching for a dollar bill, was uploaded to commemorate a twentieth anniversary release of the iconic album. Some special interest groups protested the picture when it was first released, but by now, most people seem to have decided it's interesting and not offensive enough to cause a stir. Apparently, it still violates Facebook's terms of service though, and Mark Zuckerberg is having none of that shit.
Here's why this whole removal is stupid. A company like Facebook needs to maintain rigid standards for its entire community to function without issue, but recognized pieces of nostalgia that have been seen over-and-over again by millions of people should not apply. The difference between some asshole posting naked pictures of his ex-girlfriend and a major band posting a picture of its iconic album is plain and obvious enough that any sensible user should see the difference. Plus, it's a goddamn baby. We're not talking about the cover of Blind Faith's self-titled record here.
According to MSNBC, the Special Deluxe Edition of Nevermind in question will be available for purchase on September 27th. It'll feature loads of special features and perhaps more importantly, the original cover art.
UPDATE! The photo is now back on the Nirvana fan page. Facebook appears to have re-instead the image after yesterday's public outcry against the move.