Last night I posted the above photo of a work in progress page to Instagram. I often post photos of my artwork that is unfinished and in progress to the site. It allows me to document, process and share the work with others. A few hours later I received an email from Instagram saying:
We’ve removed something you posted on Instagram for violating our Community Guidelines.
Please review our Guidelines and remove any other content on your profile that may be in violation. Additional violations may result in your account being blocked or disabled:
-Don't share posts that aren't yours
-Don't share photos that show nudity or mature content
-Don't share photos of illegal content
Thanks for helping us keep Instagram a safe and fun place for everyone.
The Instagram Team
In other words, someone flagged my photo as being inappropriate and Instagram removed it and has threatened to block or disable my account if I post any more "inappropriate photos."
"What Is Censorship? Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons -- individuals, groups or government officials -- find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, "Don't let anyone read
I'm a collage artist. I cut and paste images together to create pieces of art that speak for me and to me. The image on the page above is something that I found in a book. I often collect images of women that I can use on my journal pages to represent me. In other words, these images speak for me and are meant to actually represent me.
So the idea that someone found the above image to be offensive is appalling to me. It's the female form from behind. It's not pornographic or lewd. It's beautiful and simple. Yet someone reported it and instagram removed it.
Perhaps Instagram needs to change its policy to something along the lines of what Blogger has:
"Additionally, we are aware that there may be content on Blogger that is personal in nature or feels invasive. Please note that Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the content of these pages. We strongly believe in freedom of expression, even if a blog contains unappealing or distasteful content or presents unpopular viewpoints. We realize this may be frustrating, and we regret any inconvenience this may cause you. In cases where contact information for the author is listed on the page, we recommend that you work directly with this person to have the content in question removed or changed."
I was teaching recently and a student told me (as she flipped through my journal) that I was brave. She pointed to a page in one of my journals of a woman with part of her breast exposed and said that while she could relate she could never put an image with "that" in her journal. Do you see anything vulgar, pornographic or upsetting here:
I have seen photos on Instagram and other sites of both adult men and women that are definitely offensive. Have I ever reported them? No.
The human body should be celebrated and appreciated. Not censored and labeled offensive. If you don't like what I post, don't follow me.
I'm 39 years old and it's taken me a hell of a long time to get to where I am. I went through hell and back growing up and being constantly told that I was ugly, fat or basically worthless by those around me (especially during my school years.) Now I'm taking my voice back and I'm not putting up with this kind of behavior any longer.
It's 2014 and it's about time we all grow up.
Read More Here:
Why Instagram Censored My Body
Instagram Fears the Nipple