Friday, 17 July 2015

Is Instagram throwing their weight around by banning Hashtag #Curvy?

What do the following adjectives have in common? Ample, voluptuous, chubby, full-figured, shapely, robust.  They are all synonyms for the term “Curvy” and they are NOT YET banned on Instagram like the hashtag #curvy that is now officially unsearchable.  Social Media platform Instagram has blocked users from searching for pictures tagged as 'curvy' in order to restrict the amount of inappropriate content uploaded to their channel.  If you click on a photo that was hashtagged #curvy, you’ll now get a massage that says “No Posts Yet.”  

This news was met with outrage as many social media users and media outlets are criticising Instagram for the damage they are doing to women’s body image by banning the term “curvy” but allowing hashtags like “skinny” and “thin”. Plus-size women who want to make a positive statement of self-esteem are now forced by Instagram to use alternative hashtags like #curvyfit.

Doing a quick search on Instagram it’s not difficult to see that there are plenty of much more sexually explicit words than "curvy" allowed on the platform and users are calling them out for unfairly policing content. Instagram users are also finding a way around this ban by using the hashtag “curvee” or positing a photo with the word ‘Curvy’ embedded in it.

Instagram user Brittonyaaa shared her frustration by posting the word “Curvy” as a picture with the following caption: “Because #curvy is too obscure for instagram, while every inappropriate hashtags are still allowed. God forbid someone may be curvy and proud! #imnoangel!”.

Twitter users also made their view known on this subject by using the curvy hashtag.  @MeaghanDowling tweeted: “Can someone explain to me why @instragram banned #curvy, but not #skinny? What the hell.”
User @emiliahedvig concurred with this tweet: “#instagram banned the hashtag #curvy – tags like #fitgirl #skinnygirl #skinny #sknnyisperfect #smallwaist #smallboobs #tinygirl are allowed.” 

An Instagram representative says that the ban has nothing to do with the word "curvy" itself. Instead, they block certain hashtags, making them unsearchable, when many users share inappropriate content that goes against community guidelines. In this case, the hashtag #curvy was used to violate their nudity policy.  

Under Instagram community guidelines they state: “We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”

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