Monday, July 27, 2015

Sorry @Instagram. Your Reason for Banning #Curvy Is B.S. and I'm NOT Buying It!

I love Instagram!  I am an avid user of this highly visual social media platform and I will continue using it. I encourage many of my clients to use it because there is incredible opportunity for marketing and promoting their business while connecting with their customer base.  

Today, however, I have a bone to pick with Instagram and I'm going to call them out for misleading the public on why they banned the word #curvy from their search results.  I'm also challenging them to address a very real problem with their platform that's seriously harming their users.

So this morning, I hopped on Twitter to catch up on the news and noticed a friend of mine was tweeting @CBCNews.  She was making great points about reasons people are overweight and that it does not mean someone is unhealthy.  Her comments intrigued me and I was curious what instigated the conversation so I explored her comments to discover she was responding to a recent article published on July 26th by @CBCNews titled:

I didn't know the word #curvy had been banned from Social Media search results, including Instagram, so I wanted to learn more by reading the @CBCNews article.

WOW!!!! is all I can say!  The reason Instagram gave to CBC as to why they banned the keyword #curvy is full of malarkey! 

Instagram says it banned the word #curvy due to some content not following their terms of use. @CBCNews reports: "A company spokesperson told multiple news outlets that the term was banned because some content donning the hashtag violated Instagram's rules about nudity. The company does not allow users to post nude, partially nude, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos on Instagram, according to its terms of use."

OK, this is where my jaw dropped and thought to myself "WOW, this is a total load of B.S. and I'm not buying it!"  Anyone familiar with Instagram and how to search keywords knows that Instagram just played the "bullshit baffle brain game".  The reason I say this is Instagram is notorious for being one of the worst platforms for allowing its users to publish hardcore porn.

In fact, hardcore porn is so prevalent on Instagram, I warn parents in my Internet Safety courses just how vile Instagram can be, and to watch their children's exposure to porn on this platform.  I just completed a one year research study on cyberviolence and one aspect of the research focused on the accessibility of porn on the Internet, and the impact it is having on personal relationships.  From this research, we know people search for porn on Instagram using popular search terms and keywords for porn, as well as code words that the average person may not be aware of.

So Instagram, thanks for bringing the word #curvy back but I must point something out!  

You have the gall to ban #curvy from your keyword search because you claim some of the content violated your terms of use, yet you don't ban popular porn words and code words.  I can not understand why you banned a word that is used by plus size women to celebrate their body shape, yet we can take any sex word or phrases and find an incredible amount of nude, partially nude and hardcore porn all over your site.  Please explain yourself!!!

Meanwhile, since you want to uphold your policies, I have a challenge for you:  Please ban all porn words, phrases and code words from your keyword searches to remove the real content that is violating your terms of use so you can stop harming our children with your platform - take on REAL responsibility and block porn content starting by blocking porn keywords in your searches!

While you are at it, how about banning porn stars from using your platform to share their partially nude, full nude and porn pictures with their Instagram followers.

When you take these actions, then maybe we can take you a little more seriously.  Until then, you have just lost credibility on this matter as you talk out of two sides of your mouth.