It is very easy to publish on the internet for all the world to see something you would rather have kept private. And once it is on the World Wide Web it is impossible to delete with 100 per cent certainty.
There is always a chance that whatever you publish could end up in a far corner of the internet that you had not intended, taking the material out of context. Sure, the law maybe on your side but by then the damage may already have been done.
Solution – extra caution. Before posting anything, you think about it a few times. You then think about it some more. And what is the result of this extra caution? A form of self censorship.
There is a big difference between displaying your work in a public art gallery and in web space such as this blog. Stealing a piece of art from a gallery and transferring it to a sex shop would not be an easy feat. On the internet, all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse.
Is this self-censorship a bad thing? There is a difference between social media sites refusing to display certain works of art and an artist wanting to restrict their audience to like-minded souls. The internet makes no distinction between an immature adolescent boy intent on disrupting the party or a loved one you want to share an intimate moment with.
Some photographers have a password-protected download service for their clients via their websites. It does worry me that a few taps on a keyboard are the only thing standing in the way of some undesirable accessing the images. Private settings on the internet have no value to the determined wanting to break the electronic barriers put in place.
What does it mean for this project? Having removed the rose-tinted spectacles of my initial enthusiasm and woken up to the real world, some of the images I had in mind will not be shared here. Trust and privacy are hard to earn but very easy to throw away.