NUDITY has been the talk of Facebook in the past week, but we’re not talking pornography, here.
This nudity features farmer James Rogers, 22, a stockman on Paddington Station near Wilcannia and Ivanhoe, celebrating the region’s first rain in eight months.
His girlfriend, Jody Frazer, took the photo of Mr Rogers standing, with his back to the camera, wearing only his hat, welcoming the wet manna from heaven.
Ms Frazer told Fairfax Media it was something Mr Rogers thought would be funny.
Facebook deemed the photo offensive and removed it from users’ accounts and blocked users from Facebook for 24 hours who had posted the photo on their newsfeed.
Country music singer and Fire and Rescue NSW firefighter Dan Murphy’s parents have 400,000 acres between Cobar and Broken Hill and are neighbours to Mr Rogers.
He shared the photo on his newsfeed numerous times in the past week, had the photo removed from his newsfeed and photo album and was blocked for 24 hours.
“I know the family because they’ve been in the area all my life,” Mr Murphy said. “I think it just captures the true essence of what Australians are all about. It shows the euphoria that we all experience when we get rain – it’s like a drug. It’s just a high that’s hard to describe.”
Mr Murphy has also shared a photo of a farmer pulling a bogged sheep out of a dam and that photo was taken off the site as well.
“It’s saying it’s reported with a notification that it was deemed offensive,” he said.
“I’ve said on Facebook that if my so-called friends are reporting it, they can remove themselves from my friends list.”
Mr Murphy said he’s seen more offensive photos on the social networking site, including full nudity.
“I’m like a bulldog on a bone now with this photo,” he said.
“They’re good people and I’m going to continue sharing it.”
Mr Murphy said this wasn’t the first time Mr Rogers had been photographed naked.
Mr Rogers told Fairfax Media he did not understand how such a good-natured photo could be so controversial.
“I couldn’t believe it ... it was just a harmless joke and it kept going,” he said. “There’s much worse things on Facebook than that.”
Ms Frazer said perhaps those who hit the “report’’ button did not understand just how difficult life without water was.
“We didn’t expect it to go as far as it did, but now that it has, if it can help out other people that are worse off than us, it’s a good thing,” she said.
As for Mr Rogers, his bottom’s rough ride through Facebook will not stop him from celebrating future rainfall any way he likes.
The photo has garnered support from across the country, with an online petition running to stop Facebook from taking it down.