Facebook is not your friend

I seem to have a history of being blocked and chased off of sites, but I am also rather hard to silence, aren’t I?

A week ago, Rachel was up here in Toronto visiting our daughter, and while she was here I posted the following photo to my facebook wall, which had become a sort of “work safe” ModBlog where I shared the many interesting things that my friends there posted. As you know if you use Facebook, nearly every post or picture or message has a little button that says something like “Report This Photo”. What you may not know is that it only takes a single person clicking it to get your account banned from Facebook, and that there appears to be no human oversight or moderation to this process. Whether that means that it’s completely run by bots or it’s minimum-wage moderators mindlessly clicking “ok” all day long I have no way of knowing — all I know is that the process is broken. Anyway, here is the photo I posted while Rachel was here, the first one that got me in trouble, earning a one day ban for violating “community standards”:


Admittedly, it’s a “boobie” picture, so I’m not terribly surprised that some prude reported it. However, I censored the nipples, and in any case, on Facebook’s “community standards” page they explicitly state that they allow tasteful nudity and artistic nudity. Unforuntately Facebook provides no mechanism for disputing these bans, and even says “don’t bother asking us to lift a ban, because we never do even if it’s in error — just be patient”. There are no forms to contact them about this, so I spent some time reading news articles about similar bans — they’re quite common — and got the name of Andrew Noyes, a Facebook PR guy who’d dealt with this in the past, tracked him to his personal email address, and wrote him a letter asking him to help.

While I waited, I went out for an icecream with my daughter and Rachel and told them what had happened. Rachel went on a bit of a rant about how unfortunate it is that many modification artists are using Facebook as their primary home, because Facebook, to simplify what she said, “is not our friend”. Sure, they’re happy that we’re there posting our pictures and attracting eyeballs to generate advertising revenues for them, but don’t ever kid yourself into thinking they care about this community or will protect it in any way — let alone protecting larger civil rights like freedom of speech or privacy. They’ll do what’s good for their bank account, and that is a very different thing than what is good for the body modification community. Rachel told me that if I ever wanted to have a safe place to blog on the subject, that the doors of ModBlog were open to me. Since I still have a lot of hurt feelings and heartbreak about the way I stopped blogging here in the first place, I said thanks but no thanks, and anyway, blogging at Facebook, even though their platform sucks, is very easy and fast and makes it convenient to network with my friends, and since I’m just doing this just for fun these days I figured I’d stick with Facebook. This decision was solidified by getting an email from Andrew Noyes on my return saying the same throw-away line I’ve seen him use in the media — “It was an error and we apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.”

But in any case the one-day ban was off six hours later and I figured it was the end of my troubles and continued posting as normal. Everything seemed fine, until I posted the following image, along with a note about health and safety:


Now, before I continue telling my Facebook story, I’d like to put this picture into context, because there is more to it than meets the eye. Yes, of course all things being equal suspension should be treated with the same controls on sterility, safety, and cross-contamination as body piercing is. That goes without saying, and I can’t imagine there isn’t a person who disagrees. However, to speak by analogy, just because you agree that all things being equal people should wear condoms when having sex, it does not follow that you believe long-term partners must wear condoms, or that condoms are required in erotic art (aka pornography). If the photos on the “insane” half of the photo are in an artistic context between fluid-sharing partners, or people who are otherwise “safe” to contaminate each other’s blood, then the lack of gloves carries with it less additional risks and becomes more of a political issue than a safety issue (and of course with the free flowing blood on the practitioners in the top-right photo, gloves alone would not be an adequate precaution). Of course one could say “but what if someone copies that”, but really, my stance has always been that it is the job of BME — and people in general — is to educate and provide all available information, not to censor themselves for fear that people will blindly emulate without understanding the risks.

I’ve been talking to the performers in the bottom right photo, and I should mention first that they are artists, and not a suspension team — they do not suspend others. Everyone involved was tested for disease, and in any case, two of them are married partners. This was an art performance. It was not a suspension event. So the above montage at least in part compares apples and oranges — and while no one disagrees with the general message, it does it using the the wrong illustration, and thereby unfairly hurts people who are not part of the problem. Let me finish off this diversion by sharing with you the beautiful video of the performance so you can understand it in context, and perhaps take away the lesson that if you’re going to create an image like this (and there are many floating about), you should be very sure about the shots you include:

Human Installation III “Sacrifice” Performance art by Kyrahm from KYRAHM on Vimeo.

But in any case, I went out to a movie (myself watching Total Recall, and my daughter watching Wimpy Kid) and when I came back, I found that I was blocked from Facebook for this post “violating their community standards”, this time for three days. I have written to Andrew Noyes again, but unfortunately this time he has not — at least yet — stepped up to help. Now, I don’t believe Facebook specifically has it in for me, or for body modification. I think they simply couldn’t care less about us one way or the other, leaving us at the mercy of automated systems that boot us off or slap us with petty punishments the second some complains. I have been speaking out against rebloggers who simply repost pictures they steal from BME as their own, and I have been speaking out against tattoo blogs that objectify women needlessly — for all I know one of them is laughing all the way to the bank, having found an easy way to manipulate the system. Well, they’ve managed to push to somewhere that they can’t censor me. For now, I’m taking my writing to hear on ModBlog. Tattoo artists and piercers beware — all it takes is your competition making a few mouse clicks, and you’ll go through the same hell. Make sure you have a backup plan like BME, because, to again state the obvious, Facebook is not your friend.

I don’t have a good picture to go along with it, but the entry that I was about to post (but couldn’t) when I got back from the movie was about Total Recall… so let me share a picture of one of the iconic characters that is in both the original and the very different remake, and a hilariously awesome tattoo based on the final scene from the original.


The art direction and concept work in the movie is where it really shines, and that includes a few scenes of “body modification of the future” (which reminded me of Warren Ellis‘s superb future-mods comic “MEK”). In addition to three-boobed women, as the main character runs through a very Bladerunner-esque dystopian city, we see a tattoo artist working on a backpiece, as the whole thing flickers like electroluminescent wiring. In addition, some people have phones implanted in their hands (which from the surprise some street urchins show, is not yet commonplace among the general public) — we even get to see Quaid cutting it out of himself, pulling it out quite realistically as an implant would be, as it’s being used to track him. Anyway, it’s mostly an action movie and not a lot more, but there were many little details like that I think people here would appreciate.

So yeah… Screw blogging on Facebook. Even if they “fix this”, at this point I have no reason to believe it won’t happen again and again, eventually causing me to lose everything I’ve worked on. So I’m going to put my posts here instead. I’m not sure if I’ll start right away full-force or ease into it, but I can’t pour my efforts into posts that might mysteriously disappear because of some inaccessible behind-the-scenes process at a megacorporation. Finally, I want to say that I’m not here to “take over” ModBlog and I look forward to working with the others posting here and I appreciate having been offered a safe home to share my opinions on body modification, and a place to highlight the things I see and enjoy. Stay tuned I suppose?

P.S. I have kept copies of everything I have posted to Facebook, so since it’s effectively lost in their useless unsearchable interface, if there’s an interest, I may repost some of the “best of” material here so that it is properly archived for the body modification community to enjoy.

The Friday Follow-up

Today’s follow-up marks the return of the Thunder from Down Under!  It’s been almost a year since we’ve gotten a follow-up from Wayde, and this one makes up for the lack of updates.  This H.R. Giger inspired piece was done at Scarwars ’07 in Philadelphia.

To see how it looks 4 years later, you know what to do.

It’s safe to say that after 4 years, this scar has healed.  Of course, time will still change the appearance, but as it stands right now, it’s looking good.  The way the skin has healed up has given the design a lightened pigment compared to the rest of the skin, allowing it to blend in with his leg.  There are a few more close-ups of the scar in Wayde’s BME Portfolio Gallery.

Mall rats

A lot of people are under the impression you can only get mass produced crap at the mall. I see where they are coming from, most the independent stores with different, interesting stuff have pretty much vanished, and in their place are chain stores selling out the subcultures.

However, in  Edmonton, Alberta Canada there is a mall called  West Edmonton Mall

and in that mall is a tattoo and piercing studio called Dragon FX

and in  that studio is a man by the name of Wayde….

and Wayde creates some of the best scarification in the world, such as this piece he recently did.


And all of the sudden the mall doesn’t seem like such a lame place.

BME Girls Calendar 1/22/10

For those of you interested in seeing this batch of girls who submitted their pictures for  possible use in the upcoming BME Girls Calendar, keep on reading. If this isn’t your thing, come back later for other types of modblog post.



About being a featured girl: This event is open to all BME Girls age 18 and over. Girls of all shapes, sizes and race are encouraged to submit pictures. Contestants can be dressed or nude, but nothing too pornographic will be featured. Pictures need to be of decent quality, lest the readers condemn me to hell for posting webcam shots. Agreeing to be involved is consenting to be featured in the calendar, if you are selected for it. If you want to suggest someone, feel free to do so. I will contact them and see if they are interested, but no one will be featured without their explicit approval. To submit pictures, please email them to [email protected] Make sure to include your IAM: name (or real name) in your email.

About voting: Votes will be tallied by emailing [email protected], just make the subject “Vote (insert name of girl you choose)” and your vote will be tallied.  Votes will be anonymous, there is no reason for anyone to know who voted for whom and how many votes each girl got.  Voting for one week ends when the following weeks post goes up. Please note, this isn’t about competition, it’s about a fun, interactive way to get the readers involved in the selection process.

About Commenting: I am enforcing a strict ZERO TOLERANCE policy for negative comments about the girls. They are being kind enough to share themselves with us and to help BME make a calendar, they should not have to fear public ridicule. Negative comments will be deleted, if we have a repeat offender, all of their future modblog comments will be sent to moderation. This isn’t about censorship, it’s about common courtesy and respect.

Check back next Friday for the next installment of the BME Girls Calendar feature. I will be back posting other features to modblog Monday, until then keep on keeping on.

PS: If you are wondering what’s going on with BME Boys Calendar, Lexci is currently in Hawaii with  very own BME Boy. When she get’s back to the mainland (and her computer) she will get a post up. Until then if you have any submissions for BME Boy Calendar, email them to [email protected] with “BME Boys Submission” as the subject and I will make sure she gets them.

Ask and you shall receive.

So when I posted this cutting by Efix Roy a modblog commenter by the name of Tsarik left this comment:

>>so many of these cuttings look excellent when freshly done. do the wearers or artists have the foresight for how it will look when finished? so few of these cuttings are worth looking at when actually healed.<<

I understand her scepticism. I am generally of the “bold will hold” mindset , especially when it comes to scars. However, with the caliber of some of the artist that do these detailed cuttings, you should not be surprised to know a lot of them heal magnificently.

A perfect example of that is this awesome cutting that was done by Jonz of Sideshow Tattoo in Boise Idaho and Wayde Dunn.

Here it is fresh…


To see it healed in all of it’s glory, keep on reading.

…and here it is healed.


See, a modblog commenter asked ,and I answered. I am trying to make sure modblog covers what it’s readers want to see. That being said, I could use some suggestions from you guys.  So if there’s anything (or anyone) you want to see here , or if you just have some cool pics that you would like to see posted, please let me know. If you are on IAM, I created this forum on my page to leave suggestions. If you are not on IAM you can email me through the “email this author” link next to my photo below. If you want to ask or suggest something 100% anonymously you can do so on my formspring page. I can’t promise I will use everything suggested, but I am open to most possibilities.

It’s not from “A Christmas Story”, but it will have to do.

This well healed scarification piece on  IAM fanasien is the Auryn Symbol from the movie “The Neverending Story“. It was done by Wayde Dunn approximately 4.5 years before this picture was taken.

I like this scar for several reasons:

-It’s bold and should look good for a long time to come.

-It’s well incorporated into a tattoo, which adds great contrast.

-It’s a subtle reference to one of my favorite childhood movies.


Now if only someone would get “A Christmas Story” themed scar, that would be amazing! Maybe a red ryder bb gun, a orphan Annie decoder ring or a leg lamp, I am leaning towards the leg lamp…

Wave To All My Friends

And we’re back! Apologies for the sporadic nature of our fair ModBlog over the past week, but it was worth it, we promise. We’re still trying to get settled and kick the terrible disease we contracted on the flight back to the wintry north, but in the mean time, here we have Timothy‘s new bonsai tree cutting by The Thunder From Down Under (And Sometimes From Above), Wayde Dunn in Calgary, Alberta. Tim’s other side is similarly adorned with a bonsai tree cutting by Brian Decker, so it goes without saying that that is one formidable torso he’s got there. And the scarification pieces are pretty nice too! Zing.

Damned To Be One Of Us

Ahoy-hoy, folks! Let’s kick off this Wednesday (or “Hump Day,” as the ancients called it) with this series of photos documenting stabbylove‘s new scarification piece, cut into place by Australia’s entry into the Mr. Universe pageant, Wayde Dunn, while at Wicked Ink in Penrith, Australia. Up top? That’s immediately following—obviously. Post-jump, more procedural and healing shots, because that’s what we do.

Here’s your future, ModBloggers.

Wayde goin’ to town.

Three weeks later.

Three months later.

Tattoo Hollywood, BME’s first tattoo convention, is coming to Los Angeles from August 21-23, featuring contests, prizes and some of the best artists from around the world! Click here for more information.

See more in Misc. Cuttings (Scarification)

A Hundred Souls and a Hundred To Go

The last time we saw Cookie, we caught a glimpse of some of her 3D implants and scarification work, but, quite frankly, that was just the tip of the iceberg as far as her rather intense and extremely impressive body of modification work goes. The implants are (obviously?) by her husband, the illustrious Steve Haworth, tattoos by Nicole McCord, and the scar work you can see is by our favorite ubiquitous Australian, Wayde Dunn, at the Haworth Mod Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. More pictures, of course, after the jump.

See more in 3D-Art Implants (Implants) (members only)