There are few things I loathe more than a hypocritical network whose actions aren’t consistent with their guidelines… even if it’s the same platform I’ve promoted, defended, championed and became instafamous on during the last year. That’s right Pornstagram, errr I mean Instagram, I’m talking about you. Has Instagram become Pornstagram?
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that instaporn runs rampant on the photo sharing network. Articles published last August from Huffington Post and Daily Mail, among others, have already exposed the sexier side of Instagram. I’m not here to discuss whether or not this is wrong.
Fact of the matter is we live in a sexually driven society and if a 14yr old boy wants to see some T&A, he’ll find it somewhere else, like tumblr, where x-rated material is commonplace and allowed, if it’s not available on Instagram.
So where’s the beef? My contention comes from the manner in which Instagram chooses to play their “terms and condition” card. You see, I have a friend who recognized an opportunity to help attractive girls get Instagram famous.
I’ll refer to him as Kevin because he wishes to remain anonymous for fear that IG will disable(delete) his personal account, too, if he speaks out. But I’m not scurred, I’m gonna stand up and fight for equal rights anytime.
Here’s the long and the short of Kevin’s operation. He would give shoutouts to girls wearing skimpy outfits such as bikinis and lingerie. A shoutout is when you mention/recommend to follow another Instagrammer. Here are a few examples of what was posted on Kevin’s page (faces blurred since posts are no longer on Instagram and not considered public anymore)
I don’t see any nudity here, or partial nudity, for that matter. Are these pictures provocative and/or maybe suggestive? Sure. Is it anything you couldn’t see in a Maxim Magazine or Victoria’s Secret catalog? No. But, the funny thing is, Kevin has had 2 instagram pages shutdown for violation of terms since Mid-March.
I know firsthand how much time and energy he put in while building each account to 19,000+ and 28,000+ followers, respectively. For instagram to disable these pages without any sort of explanation or response is preposterous, if not insulting. Though, not responding to concerned users seems to be the norm with Instagram… unless you’re a major website or magazine, of course.
With me being that instafamous guy and all, I offered my assistance to see if I could garner a response from their support team. Over the last month, a combined 40+ emails went unresponded to. Now, after investing all this time and experiencing such frustration, it’s personal. Especially after seeing “about us” entries such as this
SO THEY REALLY DO RESPOND!?! It would be one thing if Instagram was REALLY putting forth an initiative to rid its network of mature content. However, it’s a completely different animal when a network is obviously choosing who gets immunity to post what they want and who goes to instajail.
This is all the proof needed to show that Instagram is giving the green light to post racy pictures. Before I go on with the additional evidence, allow me to say I love The Chive website. I also admire and appreciate the women who are in Suicide Girls or published in Playboy. I think they should be allowed to have Instagram Accounts, BUT ONLY IF PEOPLE LIKE KEVIN CAN DO THE SAME THING!
A network as large as Instagram should know better than to allow certain brands/publications to post content which is even more revealing than what they shut down other pages for. Call me crazy, but these pics look a lot more nude and suggestive than what Kevin was running!
Granted the kibbles and bits aren’t showing, but they all have seem to be missing something… CLOTHES! So much for not allowing nudity, right?
Instagram does offer a feature to report/flag content that you find inappropriate. To further my point, I went ahead and flagged each of these posts on multiple occasions last week since they’re clearly in violation of IG’s mythical terms. Not surprisingly, all three of these accounts are still active and none of the posts were removed. If these three entities are allowed to post beautiful women, why can’t Kevin?
Stop the Charade
I’ll be the first to agree that there is no place for underage nudity or sexually explicit content, but I can still find both on Instagram. Worry about that getting rid of that stuff so I don’t have to see a dude’s junk when I’m searching tagged posts. Worry about the spam-bots and fake profiles that have overrun your network. Stop acting like a playground bully and let everyone play in your sandbox instead of kicking the small guys out.
Really, there are two choices for Instagram and their Big Brother, Facebook. Either manage/limit ONLY the smuttiest (underage/explicit) OR eliminate the showing of skin altogether FOR EVERYBODY… none of this half-assed “We restricted a few tags and are removing a few pages” strategy.
So the ball is in your court Instagram Team… what’s it gonna be? Either shutdown these popular pages which are in violation of your terms or reinstate my friend’s @fantassticgirls account since you knowingly allow these pages to post content more mature than what he was posting.
I want to hear from you…what do you all think about this? Am I overreacting or do you agree are clearly two sets of standards here? What other examples of preferential treatment on social networks have you seen?
If you enjoyed this article, check another piece from Tony on how to become instagram famous
Tony Bennett is a passionate photographer, future Senator, and Instagram Superhero with over 100K Followers. Above all Tony is great guy and would be happy to answer all your Instagram questions below.