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Pinterest has opened up to nude photographs, reverting a previous ban and offering a potentially very different service to rival social image networks, which restrict nudity.

The move follows complaints from artists and photographers, some of whose work featured nudity for artistic effect. Such images were not previously allowed under Pinterest’s posting policies, which prohibited “nudity, partial nudity or pornography.”

“Pinterest is about expressing your passions and people are passionate about art and that may include nudes,” Pinterest told the Financial Times. “So we’re going to try to accommodate that.”

This week Facebook promised to clamp down on offensive content after extensive protests from women’s rights groups over content encouraging violence towards women.

Online sharing websites face a problem attempting to balance free speech with responsibility, particularly when it comes to the more damaging area of hate speech. There is no easy solution to this issue, as there are as many advocates of looser regulation as there are for tighter controls.

Pinterest’s decision will undoubtedly be hailed by artists and proponents of free expression. It will also help differentiate the website from numerous others, but it remains to be seen where it draws the line between art and pornography.

Source: Financial Times