Instagram Called Out For Double Standards After Deleting Photographer’s Account
By Mikelle Leow, 23 May 2018
Image by Dragana Jurišić and featured with permission
Facebook has recently vowed to slacken some of its censorship rules, but the extent to which its policing has been fine-tuned is still unclear.
In spite of this promise, Dublin-based photographer Dragana Jurišić had her account taken down by Facebook-owned Instagram after she posted one of her works showing a naked woman whose breasts were censored by a leaf. The image is part of her ‘100 Muses’ project, which sees women directing their own photos to celebrate self-representation.
The photo amassed over 500 likes before Instagram deleted her account “without any prior warning.” Jurišić gathered she did not go against Instagram’s policies—in fact, the model’s nipples were covered with a leaf for the sake of the image going online—and was led to believe her account was hacked.
Instagram’s terms read, “You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the Service.”
The photo was also uploaded on Facebook, and Jurišić said she was “blocked from posting and commenting.” When her friends re-posted it and compared it to Kim Kardashian West’s topless Instagram selfie, the network removed their uploads.
While the photographer had backups of her Instagram images on her computer, she lost seven years worth of “dates, times, notes, comments and discussions that developed around many of my posts.” She reached out to Teru Kuwayama, a photo community manager at Instagram and Facebook, and though he seemed sincere about helping her reinstate her account, he said Instagram refused to because of “repeated nudity.”
Jurišić recalled, “Interestingly, a friend of mine tried reporting a soft porn Instagram account by a male photographer for violation of terms. These images show much more than any of my posts did—and she got a response that they do not violate any terms.”
“This is mind-boggling to me. It boils down to female nipples and hair.”
Nearly a week later, Instagram finally reinstated Jurišić’s account. Unfortunately, the photographer said that over 3,000 of her older posts were still missing.
In light of the snafu, Jurišić warned Instagram users to download their data “ASAP, and if you are remaining on the platform, do it on a regular basis.”
“According to Instagram, ‘some nipples’ are fine and some are not so fine (Who writes this shit, seven year olds?). The issue of how Instagram and Facebook police female bodies is something that no one should take lightly. Instagram is flooded with millions of images of highly sexualized content, images they monetize—however the female nipple ban points out to the inherent misogyny that is built into this platform.”
For more of Jurišić’s works, head over to her website, Instagram, and Facebook.
A post shared by Dragana Jurisic (@dragana23) on
They took this one down? Why? pic.twitter.com/uTnWuFCG3S— Dragana Jurišić (@ohmadelaine) May 13, 2018
I posted this image with some guidelines earlier but Facebook has made it invisible on my wall according to what people...Posted by Dragana Jurisic on Thursday, May 17, 2018
I am being silenced by Facebook - and all the people who shared my post are being silenced too. This is some level...Posted by Dragana Jurisic on Thursday, May 17, 2018
So this just happened. Also without warning. My account is back but nothing changed about policies. I will take this opportunity to download my data. I am not sure was reinstating my account a mistake or not. pic.twitter.com/vRhKJHgqPC— Dragana Jurišić (@ohmadelaine) May 14, 2018
Some things I learned by being deleted from Instagram and then reinstated: 1. Download all your data ASAP, and if you are remaining on the platform, do it on a regular basis. I was lucky in this crappy saga that I had visibility, but if you have no contacts that can help, you will just drift off into the abyss without recourse. 2. Some people have commented ‘Of course you knew when you signed up to these platforms you are just squatting in their space. You sign up for not having any rights to your work.’ Just because certain companies have certain policies it does not mean we should comply without questioning. 3. There is a lack of transparency in how things are done on Instagram. DEMAND TRANSPARENCY! 4. According to Instagram ‘some nipples’ are fine and some are not so fine 🤯 (who writes this shit, 7 year olds?). The issue of how Instagram and Facebook police female bodies is something that no one should take lightly. Instagram is flooded with millions of images of highly sexualised content, images they monetise - however the female nipple ban points out to the inherent misogyny that is built into this platform. If a company like Facebook/Instagram stands for gender equality, how do they explain to themselves and their users why they are discriminating against female bodies? 5. 🐲🙌 @instagram #instagramcensorship [If your artwork has been censored by social media you can write to [email protected] of National Coalition Against Censorship - they are looking for examples]
A post shared by Dragana Jurisic (@dragana23) on
[via The Art Newspaper, images by Dragana Jurišić and featured with permission]
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