Instagram, Facebook’s image social media company, typically has a very strict policy about what can be displayed on its site, though many have found ways to push the rules without breaking them. Many a celebrity routinely breaks the nudity policy but seems to suffer no blowback from Instagram, but it would appear that celebrities aren’t the only ones who get a pass.
An Instagram user called “supportblackart” posted a picture displaying two mostly nude black women. While they’re wearing bottoms, their exposed breasts can be seen from the side. That’s not necessarily the bad part. Nude paintings and drawings don’t seem to draw the ire of Instagram and that’s fair.
What isn’t fair is the fact that it’s breaking Instagram’s terms of service by what the women are doing, and that’s holding the bloody and severed heads of two white people.
This is clearly a post depicting racial violence. Twitter user Luke Rudkowski reported the image to Instagram and received a response claiming that the post doesn’t violate any of its rules. In fact, Instagram’s response was that some people just express themselves differently and that if they don’t want to see “supportblackart’s” “art” then the user should just mute or block the account.
As usual, let’s play the reversal game.
If this was an image of two fat naked white women holding the heads of black people then not only would this post be taken down immediately, the user who uploaded it would be banned for life. Posts are taken down over racism constantly or, as recently as earlier this month, accounts have been deactivated because they may cause “real-world harm.”
What the social media company considers “harmful” seems to be up for interpretation. For instance, Instagram refused to remove a picture of a plane flying into the World Trade Center on 9/11. The user who posted it was a pro-ISIS account who wrote “One of the most beautiful scenes” in its description.
Instagram also used the same excuse to leave that post up as it did with the black women and the beheaded white people: “people may express themselves differently.”
Facebook eventually took the post down after outrage grew and activist groups began getting involved.
Once again, the social media companies that currently rule the internet are not your friend.