[imagesource: Barbara Picci/ Pinterest]
It’s no secret that when it comes to removing content or deeming content unsuitable, the rules on several social media platforms are often unclear, and at times seemingly absurd.
The battle between Facebook and the nipple has been ongoing for years now. A closer look at how they figure out what is and isn’t worth censuring boggles the mind (more on that later).
Facebook, as you know, acquired Instagram a little while back. If you weren’t aware, I hope this solves the mystery of why your feed was suddenly more ads than content from the accounts that you follow.
The most recent challenge to the company’s weird censorship rules comes to us from Anna Konstantopoulos, a self-described “fat influencer” on Instagram, who told VICE that the social media platform keeps shutting down her account, greekgoddess416, “due to fatphobia”.
“I advocate for sex workers, I advocate for those in marginalized bodies,” Konstantopoulos said.
“Since I really started showing more of my body and advocating for these things, I started getting censored by Instagram big time.”
She says that it’s virtually impossible to get in touch with anyone who works for the company and eventually resorted to paying a contact, no less than five times, $2 500 to get her account back.
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A Facebook spokesperson told VICE than the account had been disabled for repeatedly posting content “containing nudity and sexual solicitation”.
“We want Instagram to be a place where people can express themselves, but we also have a responsibility to keep people safe.”
…That’s why we are constantly re-evaluating our policies and working with experts to ensure we are in the right place,” the spokesperson said.
They also admitted that some of Konstantopoulos’ images had been “removed in error”.
Let’s see what happens when we click “See Photo” below a warning placed on one of her posts by Instagram that the photo contains ‘sensitive content’:
Drum roll, please…
A woman fully covered almost to her neck by a blanket with a bit of leg showing. Scandalous.
Konstantopoulos says that her photos in bikinis or lingerie will get singled out for supposedly breaking Instagram’s rules on nudity or sexuality. VICE found at least two posts that were flagged, that contained no nudity.
“The big issue that I’m really speaking up about is you see all these thin women that are posting pretty much full nudity and their posts are staying up,” Konstantopoulos said.
“Anyone that happens to be in a marginalized body, whether that be fat, etc., we’re being censored, we’re being removed and ultimately silenced on this platform.”
She also provides the example of a story that was removed in which she was doing nothing more than talking about fitness.
“I’m just sick of feeling like something is wrong with my body. That it’s not OK to look how I do,” she said. “It starts to make you feel like crap about yourself.”
This isn’t the first time that Instagram has been called out for censoring photos of ‘overweight’ people, including through the hashtag #fatisnotaviolation, started by Sarah Hostetler Rosen and Lou Xavier in Portland in 2018.
In response to this and other claims, Instagram now uses Facebook’s policy about how breasts should be held or squeezed.
Konstantopoulos feels that it’s important to advocate for body positivity, but is close to giving up on Instagram as the place to do that work.
Read the full VICE article here.
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