We all know how important social media platforms are these days for promotion our brand. In the case of Australian blogger, Jessa O’Brien, (a.k.a. thenudeblogger), that platform is Instagram. With over 43,000 followers, it’s certainly helping her to get her blog out in front of an audience. But she hit a snag when Instagram shut down her account.
Instagram parent, Facebook, has a fairly strict “no nudity” policy. So, it wasn’t really all that much of a surprise. But, on Instagram, things seem to be fairly inconsistent with how this policy is enforced. Many of us know somebody who’s been through this, or have been through it ourselves. To add to the confusion of what is and isn’t allowed, Jessa’s account has now been reinstated.
Jenna’s feed, given the name, obviously contained a fair amount of nudity, although nothing graphic. Nothing that really should have broken the rules. But Instagram took it down anyway. As mentioned in the video above, Jessa attempted to contact Instagram and received no resposne. This also isn’t too surprising, as neither Facebook nor Instagram tend to really do much human interaction themselves (ironic, huh?). So, she started a new account, re-uploading all her images, but adding one more at the end. Clearly she wasn’t happy.
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This is me, Jessa, and I am the creatress of The Nude Blogger. Now, as some of you may know, this account was abruptly, and without any warning whatsoever, deactivated over 3 weeks ago 😤 So apologies I've been a little quiet on this account. #linkinbio for full story 👆🏼 In the midst off all of this, I also set up a secondary account @thenudeblogger_ in the event that this one was not reactivated and just in case something similar happens again. It will be my secondary/backup account, so please do follow this account also 🙏🏽 I will continue to use this account as my MAIN and primary account. Since the deactivation of this account, I have embarked on a tireless crusade against the social media giants to raise awareness about body positivity and expose the contradictory nature of Instagram's blurred guidelines that only exacerbate appalling double standards 🙅🏽The deactivation of my account actually proved to be one of the best things to happen for my message about body-positivity 👊🏼What success we've had! It's been an absolute whirlwind…making headlines all around the world! A win for body-positivity and a win against Instagram ✊🏽 To those of you who have stood united with me, to those of you who believed in me, to those of you who helped me, to each and every one of you who either shared or posted something on my behalf, to the individuals within the media who gave my story a chance and a way to gain traction and spread even further, to the people who didn't just sit back on the issue, to the people who fought for something bigger than a following or popularity on Instagram, to the people who judged me, to the people who tried to tear me down…..THANK YOU 🙏🏽YOU have given body-positivity an even louder voice and a place well-deserved at the forefront of many more people's minds 💖 And to the person, people, robot or reptilian who clicked the button to reactivate my account…YOU have also just made more of a difference than you will ever know…so thank you. You've just helped to show the world that body-positivity and non-sexual nudity are ok. So yes, thank you too Instagram…it's been good ✌🏼And as I always say, LET'S START A DAMN REVOLUTION! ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽
That’s when Jessa says the media coverage started. She received a lot of attention which included both a lot of support and some criticism. What happened next is a bit of a mystery. If Jessa knows, she’s not saying, but suddenly her account was back. And her attitude toward Instagram went from negative to positive.
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Yes…THANK YOU @instagram 🙏🏽 Thank you for making the honourable decision to reinstate my account 🙏🏽 Thank you for listening…not only to me, but to the many others out there and the message we collectively represent 🙏🏽 Thank you for exercising a sense of social responsibility 🙏🏽 This reactivation symbolises a stand for body-positivity and a step in the right direction toward helping to normalise nudity ✨ This reactivation signifies a much-needed move toward removing the stigma around non-sexual nudity ✨ I am committed to continuing in my efforts to help normalise nudity and promote body-positivity, and I can only hope that Instagram will act as an ally and not an opponent in my mission 🤝 I know many other body-positive accounts have fallen victim to disheartening double standards, and I can only hope that Instagram will set forth in exercising the same discernment they seem to have with mine. In today's fast-paced and ever-changing technological environment, we all know just how fast something can become irrelevant. One minute you're in, the next you're out. We have seen the evolution of social media, and I think we can all vouch for the fact that it would serve the giants well to be progressive rather than regressive… We cannot evolve under the guise of oppression. We need new ways of thinking. Forward-thinking. We must be the pioneers to steer it in a direction which ushers in acceptance, self love, positivity and union 💖 I call on Instagram, and all other social media platforms… With your help and goodwill, let us be the ones to leave a lasting legacy of love and union ❤️💛💚💙💜 WHO'S WITH ME? ✊🏽 . . #thankyou #instagram #istandforbodypositivity #body #positive #normalisenudity
Jessa hails this as “Win for body-positivity”. I’m not going to get into the “body positive” discussion. That debate is for you guys, and you can read Jessa’s complete post here. But the event as a whole does raise some interesting points on Instagram’s policies. As well as their enforcement of them.
I know quite a few photographers who’ve received temporary or permanent bans from Instagram over boudoir and similar images. None of these images are graphic, and many of them aren’t even nude. Some of these photographers had rather large followings. Potential clients would and did find them through their Instagram feeds. Losing their Instagram account has a noticeable impact on their real world income.
I have been reminded of just how aloof, pervasive, elusive and unpredictable social media can be. One day we’re made obsolete, the next we’re viral.
– Jessa O’Brien
So, what makes Jessa so different? Is Instagram actually starting to listen? Or do they just worry about the bad coverage by the press?
Perhaps this does set a new precedent and means those photographers caught up in unjust bans can come back. Or maybe it just means that more people need to go to the press with their story.
Ultimately, though, Instagram’s house, Instagram’s rules. And they can change them or make exceptions any time they choose. It sucks, but that’s the reality.