One of many double standards oddities of Instagram is that it doesn’t allow nipples, but only if they’re female. Not even a famous movie director like Pedro Almodóvar can’t post a female nipple on the platform. After sharing a poster for his new movie Parallel Mothers, the director had it removed “because it violated Instagram’s nudity standards.” But did it really?
Last week, Instagram introduced the new “Sensitive content control” feature within the app. It lets users choose how much sensitive content they want to see – all, some, or almost none of it. This means that some people you may want to reach will not be able to discover your work in Explore, and some creators have already complained about it.
Back in June, Instagram censored an image of a Black, plus-size model Nyome Nicholas – Williams holding an arm across her breasts. This caused a lot of controversies and even started a movement and a petition for Instagram to “stop censoring fat black women.” And they did. After the whole controversy and Nyome’s campaign, Instagram has changed its nudity policy.
No matter how hard some influencers try to debunk the myth of “the perfect body,” there will always be those who promote it. Heck, even Instagram itself seems to prefer skinny, model-like women over us regular gals. The platform recently banned users from sharing Celeste Barber‘s semi-nude parody photo. It wouldn’t be a problem if the original image of a model Candice Swanepoel weren’t left untouched. After the scandal, Instagram quickly came under fire for “fat-shaming” and “double standards.”
Many cultural institutions use social networks nowadays to promote their events. Geneva’s Museum of Art and History is no exception, but Facebook’s photo policy ruined its campaign. The museum posted images of two ancient statues that will be exhibited in an upcoming show. However, Facebook apparently thinks they’re porn, so it banned the museum’s ad.
Facebook has had some pretty weird cases of censoring works of art before. This time, photos taken by iconic photographer Irving Penn were censored because, basically, Facebook thinks they’re porn. Photographer Cliff Cheng shared some of Penn’s portraits of tribes on the verge of extinction, and Facebook deleted them in a matter of minutes due to “nudity or sexuality activity.” And after two reviews, the social network still sees the photos as inappropriate.
It’s nothing new that Facebook censors nude photos, but now it turns out that even classical works of art aren’t spared from the social network’s policy. Works of 16th-century painter Peter Paul Rubens have been removed from Facebook after the Belgian region of Flanders shared them in a social media advertising campaign. As a response, Toerisme Vlaanderen, the Flemish tourism bureau wrote a rather humorous open letter to Mark Zuckerberg. They have even published a comical video that mocks the “21st century social media regulations.”