Instagram has been on the receiving end of internet censorship protests, which have even led to some users boycotting the platform. They have a tendency to block mostly female users for having the audacity to show their boobies (and in some cases, for just being plus-sized.)
In March this year, Rupi Kaur’s photo was deleted twice for violating “community standards” because a photo of her, fully-clothed, showed a menstruation stain on her bedsheets. Both Chrissy Teigen and Chelsea Handler have led campaigns against Instagram’s sexism this year. And I guess they’re finally tired of hearing about it.
During a “New Establishment Summit” hosted by Vanity Fair in San Francisco, a panel of guests including Lena Dunham and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom talked about social media. The discussion, led by Katie Couric, turned to nudity, and Systrom was asked about creating an “R-rated” Instagram to host all those boobie pix.
“There have been discussions,” he said, noting that it becomes a slippery slope about “who decides what’s R-rated.”
“We’re not in the business of hosting porn,” he added. “We focus on people being able to express themselves in beautiful ways.”
I will now avoid making a joke about slippery slopes and porn.
Systrom also insisted that nudity isn’t actually banned from the current service. They rely on a “I know porn when I see it” sort of policy, I guess, and mostly go off community reports of inappropriateness to find images that might be too scandalous for the rest of us. If that’s Instagram’s current mode of policing and enforcing their guidelines, then I’m wondering who exactly is reporting images of cartoon naked people in non-sexual poses as absolutely scandalous.
Does Instagram read every single report and respond to photos that were only flagged once as serious problems? What if someone’s thumb slipped? (Is it a two-step process, like on Facebook? I honestly have never had to report an Instagram photo because people’s breakfast and dogs are never outrageously offensive to me.)
If you’re like me and you’re like, “Who are the a-holes ruining this for everyone?” the answer is Lena Dunham.