The NY Times also took the subject of the desnudas fairly seriously with numerous articles. One of them offered an indepth look at topfree public panhandling from a legal perspective. It establishes how challenging it would be to make any sort of legal case against it, saying, “Whatever actions the city takes to control the women, it’s going to face legal challenges at every turn.”

There’s still a discriminatory exception to the law on being topless – women can’t be topless in public for “commercial functions.” While this might appear to be an easy method to prosecute topfree panhandling, it is not according to city officials. They’re still protected by the First Amendment as panhandlers and street performers and therefore exempt from regulations.
Rather than attempting to arrest or prosecute, Mayor de Blasio’s task force will probably be looking for means to set restrictions on the desnudas’ activities. Nevertheless this will still prove to be very challenging to do without breaking their right to free speech.
Me flashes topfree with the topless Desnudas who’ve responded to the recent criticism by having “My Right!!!” and “Equality” painted on their backsAn Interview with Mick Stevens & Bob Fingerman on Naked Cartoons & Censorship
For people who might not have seen the storyline, there was an episode where the New Yorker Facebook page was banned for posting a cartoon depicting female nipples, ie, two black dots. They were told it violated Facebook’s community standards, which clarifies their policy as vaguely as possible with: enforce limitations on the display of nudity.
To get the truth you need to read the FB moderator guidelines, uncovered by Gawker, listing female nipple bulges as prohibited. The New Yorker’s cartoon editor Robert Mankoff then wrote an article entitled Nipplegate, to poke fun at the controversy.
FB apologized and said the removal was a error. Here’s my own rough drawing conclusion of what is okay / not okay on FB:
Nipplegate cartoon by Mick Stevens
(Fun fact: The New Yorker has been publishing cartoons with naked people for quite a long time, but for many years, they did not show any nipples!)
We were interested to find out how a cartoonist perceived this censorship, so what follows is an interview with Mick Stevens, the artist who drew Adam and Eve above. To get another take on nudity, censorship and cartoons we also interviewed artist and writer Bob Fingerman.
A bad instance of F.N.B. (Female Nipple Bulge)
First, Mick:
We adored the Nipplegate article. How do you feel about your cartoon getting removed on Facebook for having female nipples?

I was really surprised and amused. If you look back through the New Yorker’s previous cartoons, you will see lots of female nipples, often drawn in a much more thorough manner. Mine were simply those little dots.
Do think Facebook should shift its policy on nudity or perhaps stipulate that nude cartoons are allowed?
Actually, I think they have calmed down a little due to the promotion. They could change their policy but then they might have to change their name to “Nipplebook”.
Do you perceive this kind of censorship as a stifling of freedom of speech?
Not actually, at least not notably. Obviously if I lived in China and other more repressive places on the planet, those dots might send me to jail or worse. At least here in the USofA all they can do is make themselves look ridiculous. (Mick also told us he’s never encountered this type of censorship in the past.)
Does one personally think that non sexual/ non pornographic nudity should be censored, and if so, why?
No. In other countries, apparently more knowledgeable than this one, sex isn’t equated with sin and damnation. Those old ideas are dying off here, but are still very much alive among some people.
Did any policies or anything alter because of it? Are they going to stop posting cartoon nipple dots on Facebook now?
You’ll need to ask somebody at FBook. I know they did apologize after a day or two of being ridiculed by the press and restored the NYer FBook page, dots and all.
We see you have a novel coming out. Is there any nipple dots in there? Nudity? If your publisher told you which you need to remove the naked cartoons to be able to attract a bigger audience, would you take action?
Yes the novel has some dots plus some nudity. If a publisher told me to remove portrayals of unclothed people, I’d be surprised. I had have a chat with them and probably search for another publisher with a more educated viewpoint.
Illustration from Connective Tissue by Bob Fingerman
Now, Bob Fingerman. Bob continues to be drawing cartoons all his life and has published several graphic novels and prose novels. We met him at a pleasure panel about sex and taboo in cartoons at the Brooklyn Book Festival.
What have been your experiences with censorship, if any? And if so, why were you censored?