In 2019, hundreds of pornstar accounts were deleted from Instagram. Compliance with the rules of the social network does not help them – profiles are still blocked, and their authors, meanwhile, lose their earnings and fans. The victims blame the opponents of porn for organizing a mass attack against them, as well as the leadership of the social network, setting too vague rules.
Instagram claims that they do not discriminate against porn actresses, but they often “mistakenly” delete their accounts, refuse to accept appeals and do not contact. At the same time, censorship affects not only sex workers, but also activists, dancers and sex educators. understood the conflict between sex workers and the leadership of one of the most influential social networks.
Pornstars do not break the rules, but their accounts and posts are deleted
President of the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG) Alana Evans told BBC that she has compiled a list of more than 1300 industry representatives whose accounts have been removed from Instagram for violating the rules since March 2019 . However, they did not publish nudity pictures. Because of this, many pornstars create additional accounts in case their main ones are deleted. “They discriminate against us because they don’t like the way we make a living,” Evans said.
A major blow to the community was the deletion of the porn actress Jessica Jaymes account after her death in September. Evans told BuzzFeed News that she contacted Instagram to recover her account. She was told that the profile will not be returned, since it was deleted according to the rules. Then Evans asked the company to remove content that violates the rules, because James can not do it herself. Later, her account with 900 thousand subscribers was restored , but the reason for the removal was not explained. Evans emphasized that this was the last straw: she was tired of how Instagram relates to people from her industry.
Actresses are forced to carefully edit their profiles – hide nipples, do not add links to porn content, do not communicate with fans in private messages, or even restrict access to profiles in order to comply with social network rules . However, their accounts are still deleted.
Funny experiment. One of my photos was deleted because it “breaks” the rules. Good. Found a fake account with the same photo. Complained about the post for the same reason – nude. Instagram said the snapshot does not violate the rules 🤷♀️
A porn actress who wanted to remain anonymous told that her account was deleted twice. The first time – for the link to the Pornhub vote, and the second time it was considered a fake. By the time of writing the note, the girl was still unable to restore the account.
Instagram met activists after protests
In May 2019, APAG representatives staged a rally in front of the Facebook office in London, demanding a meeting with management, and planned to hold the same rally in Silicon Valley.
At a meeting between the Guild of Actor Actors and Instagram in July, the organization demanded to explain why sex worker accounts are being massively deleted. Employees of the company said that there is an algorithm in the social network that determines the percentage of nudity in the photo and, in certain cases, removes posts or blocks accounts. However, if the user submits an appeal, then a live moderator always considers it, the company assured.
Representatives of the Guild complained of discrimination – celebrities can publish nude pictures without any sanctions. Instagram replied that they did not break the rules: if the nipples are not visible in the photo, nudity is covered with transparent fabrics or clothes in a mesh, then such content is not deleted. In the company this is called “nudity that does not violate the rules.”
However, sex workers still consider this approach hypocritical. For example, a photo of Sharon Stone with open nipples from the social network was not deleted. Instagram declined to comment.
Representatives of the company said that they consider the mass complaints of innocent content a harassment, and promised to improve the appeal process. They noted that they were not biased against sex workers, and that part of the accounts were deleted by mistake and restored immediately.
Evans told BuzzFeed News that after the meeting, hundreds of accounts were indeed restored – some through an appeal, others through direct communication with the company. Instagram promised that they would continue to communicate with the Guild and solve their problems. However, the locks soon returned, and the social networks stopped responding to complaints. Since July, Instagram began to delete accounts and posts again, and Evans communication with the social network did not resume.
What is Instagram problem? I wanted to share this beautiful shot, but damn it, they banned me, my main account was deleted for no reason for the fiftieth time … Forgive me if I crawl into a ditch and go down there
Opponents of porn suspected of mass attack
Many porn actors believe that opponents of porn have launched a coordinated campaign against them – and complain about accounts for Instagram to remove them. This is accompanied by threats from an anonymous Omid Twitter account , which takes responsibility for all blockages. The profile owner refused to respond to , accusing the publication of “supporting pornography”.
Since registering in October, the author of the account has published hundreds of tweets in which he announced the removal of pornstar or studio profiles on Instagram. He sent threats to many through replays and advised him to change his profession.
Your IG account was deleted at 18th October due to your pornographic activities.— OMID (@OMID91679072) 23 November 2019
You should know:
1. Creating new accounts is just a waste of time, I will delete them again. 2. Blocking me doesn't help you, I watch you!
Leave porn and live a better and respectful life.#no_porn pic.twitter.com/MQZfkevRrw
Instagram stated that they were aware of the existence of Omid, but found no evidence that the same person or group of related users was complaining about porn actresses.
One of the first victims of the attack was porn actress and sex worker rights activist Ginger Banks, who had already lost several instagram accounts. She told the BBC that she did not know how to deal with it: “When you put time and effort into creating an account with more than 300 thousand subscribers, and then delete it, then you feel defeated. Even if you follow the rules, your profile will still be deleted. This is most annoying. ”
Many pornstars work as independent authors using webcam sites, video hosting subscription systems, or phone sex services. Many people use Instagram to advertise their brand, find fans or make deals with partners to promote their business. Studios often estimate the number of subscribers of porn actresses on Instagram when they conduct castings. If the profile of a porn actress is deleted, then she loses direct access to fans and business connections – and this inevitably affects income. An interlocutor of BuzzFeed News, whose profile was deleted, complained that every week she was losing two thousand dollars (about 130 thousand rubles).
Banks believes that removing the accounts of porn actresses and sex workers from social networks is another way to isolate the group from their main or only way of earning and advertising: “People who complain about us do not understand what affects our income. They do not care. They believe that we should not be engaged in this work, or that it should not exist at all. ”
I have never posted explicit pictures on Instagram. But even my photo in leggings, someone can find incredibly provocative. We allow these companies to determine what is art and what is pornography and to punish us for it.Ginger banksporn actress
Victims complain about vague social media rules
Instagram users are prohibited from posting nudity, shooting sexual acts or conducting correspondence with sexual overtones. Representatives of the company recognize that in their policy over time, “a lot of nuances” have become. Both AI and users may complain about content that violates the rules. Moderators then use a complex decision tree, which is updated every two weeks. Internal rules for employees are not publicly available.
According to BuzzFeed News, in different Instagram offices, internal rules may vary. For example, moderators at one headquarters said that the message “write to the PM to get a photo or video” is acceptable, because it does not have any hints of erotic content, and “look at the uncensored version on my NSFW account in Patreon” is already gone.
Many pornographic actors blame the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, passed in 2018, for such a policy . The law was supposed to help fight the sale of slavery. However, organizations and activists advocating for the rights of sex workers believe that the law is used to censor sexual content on social networks.
Although Facebook said that this law does not affect their policies, the company updated its rules a few months after the adoption of the law, banning correspondence “with sexual overtones.” However, at a meeting with the Guild of Pornoactors, management said that this rule was precisely related to the fight against sex traffic.
Gustavo Turner, an XBIZ journalist who publishes news about the sex industry, calls this “the lowest moral denominator”: “In Silicon Valley, they are treated like children. Facebook is launching its dating application Crushes , but it has strict rules for sex chats even between adults who agree on this and don’t pay money for it. ”
Not only porn actresses suffer
Strict Instagram rules affect not only pornstars. The account of the writer and poetess Rachel Rabbit White was deleted for publishing a photo from the exhibition The Revolutionary Art of Queer Sex Work. “I published these archival images of lesbian eroticism that are very important for history. I didn’t show my nipples or genitals, but after a couple of hours my account was deleted. ” At the time of writing, her account was restored , but White closed it.
Pole dancer and blogger Carolina Hades even created the EveryBODYVisible campaign after she had the hashtags #femalefitness (female fitness) and #poledancing (pole dancing) on Instagram . The service later apologized and changed the policy, but it still blocks hashtags by which users can share content that violates the rules.
Campaign participants believe that excessive censorship of the campaign negatively affects sex workers, advocates of their rights and those who are fond of pole dancing. “Photos of celebrities are not touched, and we can’t even publish a video where we train in a bikini. You can’t use your body for educational purposes or to draw attention to body positive because of the social media management system, ”said Hydes to the BBC.
Another dancer Cinderella Jewels (Cinderella Jewels) uses his Instagram to show progress in the classroom. The removal of her first account and the disappearance of posts from the search negatively affected her work: “You feel like no one supports you, as if people are opposed to what you are doing.”