Instagram Closes Artist’s Site After Posting Clinton Parody [UPDATED]

There is an interesting free speech controversy in Melbourne and on the Internet. Melbourne street artist, Lushsux, has not only been told by a city council to remove a parody mural of Hillary Clinton but his Instagram account has been shutdown. Once again, the concern is that there remains a overt liberal bias in the sanctioning of comments or images on the Internet.  Twitter for example has been repeatedly criticized for its barring or harassing conservative writers. UPDATE:  Lushsux has responded to the city demands by painting over the picture to place Clinton in a burka.  

Lushsux had more than 100,000 Instagram followers who enjoy his paintings and images — work that extends almost two decades. He noted that “It’s fine to go on and do a mural on Trump, but when I go and do one on Hillary Clinton, my account is gone.”

Notably, there are plenty of suggestive murals splashed across Melbourne’s street-scape, including murals featuring Republican nominee Donald Trump and a topless Melania Trump emblazoned with the Mrs Clinton’s campaign catchphrase, “I’m With Her.”  Lushsux has always courted controversy with his political and social satire in street art.

The city council demanded the removal of the mural, though it insisted that it was not due to the political content but the graphic display.

Council chief executive Stephen Wall insisted “We believe it is offensive because of the depiction of a near-naked woman, not on the basis of disrespect to Hillary Clinton, in accordance with the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007.” However, the image itself does not appear particularly graphic in comparison with common advertisements and store images.

Regardless of the basis for the city council action, the Instagram action is extremely problematic and raises, again, serious questions over content-based censorship.

What do you think?

78 thoughts on “Instagram Closes Artist’s Site After Posting Clinton Parody [UPDATED]”

  1. “October Surprise” Coming From the IRS
    Bob Barr | August 03, 2016
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    “October Surprise” Coming From the IRS
    The “October Surprise” this election cycle may come not from one of the presidential candidates, but from an unlikely source – the Internal Revenue Service. The ramifications of such a move are all bad, especially for conservative-oriented groups, and will reverberate far beyond any one candidate or political party. Whether the Congress has the backbone to head off this IRS attack on free speech is very much an open question; a spending restriction placed earlier on IRS funding is set to expire at the end of this Fiscal Year – September 30th – just in time for an October Surprise.

    It is well-known that the IRS has long sought to silence or intimidate conservative-oriented organizations. Its effort in this regard is institutional and goes back several years, and was not shut down with the forced 2013 resignation of disgraced IRS director Lois Lerner. In fact, the powerful tax- and information-collecting agency now has its gunsights set not on a particular individual or organization, such as Citizens United, but rather on free speech as a whole.

    According to the Tax Revolution Institute, a government watchdog organization that has been keeping a close eye on these First Amendment-violating efforts by the IRS, a proposed rule change to how certain non-profit organizations are classified, may very well be in the works for implementation this October.

    The problematic rule, REG–134417–13, was first presented in 2013 and set parameters on how and when 501(c)(4) and other non-profit organizations could lawfully engage in election-related, informational and educational communications. The publication of the regulation came on the heels of the highly-publicized IRS scandal targeting conservative organizations, and faced strong and immediate pushback, including by the Congress. Now, three years later, and perhaps concluding that such focus on the IRS has diminished or will be overshadowed by presidential politics, the Service appears ready to strike again.

    Should the new rule look anything like what has been proposed previously, with one stroke of the pen the IRS would be able to reclassify heretofore clearly protected political speech as prohibited “electioneering.” A communication doing nothing more than mentioning the name of or position sought by a candidate – or simply showing their picture — before a primary or general election, would be sufficient to bring the power of the IRS down on that offending organization. Also at stake is the donor privacy of those organizations.

    In typical government Double Speak, the IRS justifies the rule change as necessary to help protect the “sanctity of elections.” In reality, and based on the past history of not just the IRS but other federal agencies as well, including the Federal Election Commission, it is easy to discern the true motive of such a proposal: silencing conservative critics of incumbent office holders and candidates.

    Furthermore, it is no coincidence that the possible rule-change comes while Democrats on the Federal Election Commission attempt to silence conservative websites like the Drudge Report; and as Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue to campaign vocally on overturning Citizens United. It is all a part of the Left’s proxy war on conservative speech, which has flourished with the rise of New Media. The Left cheers when liberal non-profit and for-profit entities pillory Republicans on issues such as gay rights and gun control. However, when it comes to conservative organizations doing the same to individuals supported by the Left, it becomes an issue about the “corrupting influence” of money in politics; which makes the motivations for the IRS rule changes so transparent.

    In recent years, the Right has dominated when it comes to establishing effective 501(c)(4) organizations, and the Left will stop at nothing to see such conservative audacity silenced. But, rather than having to admit their true intentions during debate in Congress, Democrats hope to sidestep this nuisance by employing the same regulatory schemes long-favored by President Obama to undermine gun rights, which in their view do not require congressional approval.

    Make no mistake – this constitutes a battle for the soul of the First Amendment to our Constitution. Congress has it within its power to once again stymie this move by the IRS, through an appropriations “rider” as it did previously, or by defining “political advocacy” in a common-sense way so that the IRS is no longer able to undercut this most cherished and constitutionally protected right. We can only hope congressional Republican leaders will find the backbone to head off this devastating October Surprise.

    A Hillary Clinton presidency would be devastating to free speech and gun rights.

  2. Something is coming down. Much of the DNC hot shots just resigned today. This is on wikileaks. I wonder what’s going to be in the new e-mails? It must be pretty damning.

  3. Twitter is easy. Use your email to get an account. Choose your name. It does not have to be real. Then tweet! You can upload a picture for your image. Twitter is easier than texting.

    I am too busy helping Penelope tweet, to use my own acct. Plus, she has her second acct, where she is the Twitter Nazi CEO, and I run about 85% of that one for her.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  4. @squeek

    thanks my friend! As you know I am a bit of a Luddite and am technologically challenged. Don’t even know how to text much less tweet!

  5. @SWM

    yo! I know you still there, lurking and listening. you’ll love this video of a Bernie supporter who if someone put a gun to his head and had to choose between HRC and Trump would go for Trump. Luckily, like me, Jill is on his state’s ballot

  6. @Autumn

    OnTwitter @JanMorganMedia

    The BBC interviewed her about it.

    But you can just rightclick the image above and either save the image to your computer, or copy the location and you can use it.

    Jan Morgan says the liberal press has their panties in a wad about the pic. But I haven’t read the account yet.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. @squeek

    where did you get that image from? I wanna send it to my email peeps

  8. @FFS

    that’s the only thing I can figure out. She never says anything of substance. Always deflecting about Trump, pro HRC, anti Bernie and Jill

    Times are tough though and I understand some folks will do anything for $$ – even Clinton cash

  9. BTW, does swm actually get paid by HRC’s campaign to come over here every day like a pigeon and leave her droppings all over the page?

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