So it has been 9 days since my Instagram account @thenudeblogger was abruptly, and without any notice whatsoever, deactivated. With the reinforcement of the community, we have sent the Instagram ‘support’ team numerous messages via email, Facebook and Instagram.
To my disappointment, I am yet to hear so much as a peep. No explanation, nothing. Given Instagram was my main source of traffic for my blog, the incident has been rather crippling for me as a blogger.
I launched the @thenudeblogger Instagram account in early October 2016. With conscious living at its core, The Nude Blogger is a candid lifestyle blog that adds in a twist of the taboo. It is a blend of the conventional and unconventional, challenging the norms and pushing the boundaries. So yes, I always expected to come up against some obstacles. When your message is so much bigger than you and challenges the current dogma, of course you expect some hurdles. It comes with the territory.
My blog aims at challenging people to look at things from a different perspective in the hopes of cultivating kindness, understanding, compassion and tolerance. For this to happen, we need to become more open-minded and expand our awareness and willingness to listen and respect one another. My blog is about so much more than nudity. It also discusses veganism, yoga, travel, self-love, spirituality and so on. It is an information hub aimed at helping people to live more consciously in order to help themselves, and help the world. The ‘nudity’ aspect of it all is merely a part of my lifestyle as a ‘nudist’, and one that I have felt compelled to share about in the hopes of promoting body positivity and cultivating tolerance and diversity. As Gandhi states,
“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation”.
This is proving rather difficult with Instagram’s double standards and blatantly hypocritical and discriminatory guidelines. I understand that in order to cultivate authentic diversity, it will be a challenge. It, quite often, imitates a David and Goliath type scenario.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead
Instagram’s blurred guidelines and double standards:
Ok, ok. I understand, I may have violated some of Instagram’s terms and conditions that I initially agreed to upon signing up. I’m not sitting here saying I didn’t break any of the rules (I am a rebel after all), but I am appalled at the double standards that Instagram allows and continues to exacerbate if anything. I am disheartened by the injustice, but I will continue to fight the good fight and stand up for the very message my nudity is there for. My account wasn’t there to exacerbate the already engrained ‘norm’ of narcissism that social media is already rife with. As I have reiterated time and time again, I post nude photos as a part of my commitment to promoting body-positivity. My nudity is not here to promote sexualisation of the human body, nor is it here to entertain your judgement. Below are a few images that seemingly, and rather blatantly, disregard Section 2 of Instagram’s Basic Terms, but are something that Instagram is wrought with and still deemed acceptable and appropriate (please excuse my sarcastic captions):
So what is a ‘naturist’ and why do I post nude photos?
According to the ‘International Naturist Federation’ ‘ Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature characterised by the practice of communal nudity with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and for the environment’.
The International Naturist Federation was founded in 1953 and has its legal seat in Austria. Worldwide, it covers over 30 countries with a national federation, including Australia!
Nudity should not be so taboo or considered inappropriate if approached with good intention. It should be reviewed with more discernment on Instagram’s behalf, especially if it is going to allow some but not others. In catering to a diverse audience, its global team of reviewers should, perhaps, learn to differentiate between sexual and non-sexual nudity, thus helping to remove the unnecessary stigma associated with non-sexual nudity, and thus catering to diversity, authenticity and body positivity.
Dear Instagram, I have some feedback for you:
Instagram’s negligent behaviour with ‘business accounts’…
I completely agree and respect that there should be community guidelines in place for such a large and influential platform, but I’m sure Instagram (or Facebook) have more than enough resources to put together teams dedicated to having this work more consistently across the service. If Instagram are unwilling to employ the resources necessary to monitor such incidences on a case-by-case basis (I understand this is a lot of work with over 700 million users), then they need to be more accountable in, perhaps, implementing algorithms that allow Instagrammers more responsibility in managing their accounts in a manner more conducive to ‘implemented’ community guidelines by allowing us insight into actions that appropriate potential deactivation.
I also believe that if Instagram are going to be a platform for which business is carried out over, they need to be more accountable and contactable. They need to be more business-like in their conduct! It is absurd how they can continue to remain so elusive when they have become such a big part in so many people’s livelihood. I was running my account with Instagram as a ‘business’ account, which allowed me the option to view insights such as:
– profile views
– amount of followers
– Website clicks
– And many other insights
Not anywhere, or at all, does Instagram allow you insight into whether your account or any of your photos are being reported. Not once was I notified of such activity if it is the reason for my deactivation. If certain insights on each individual photo are so readily available, we should also be given insight into whether our account and photos are being reported. So if Instagram and its deactivation guidelines are based on certain algorithms or ‘reviews’ from their ‘global team’, it is only fair that we’re able to view all relevant insights, especially if it is grounds for immediate deactivation.
Instagram need to stipulate specific guidelines as to what constitutes immediate deactivation, for e.g if your account is reported so many times…must remove a photo if it is reported such and such times etc. Giving the account user such information and insights puts the onus back onto the Instagrammer in taking the appropriate action to remedy a potential deactivation and also ensures that Instagram’s guidelines are still being adhered to. If the Instagrammer doesn’t take proactive measures and blatantly disregards the warnings, then so be it. It is only fair that the account be disabled for violating such stipulations.
If my account or certain photos were being reported, I should have been given notification, especially operating as a ‘business’ account. I should be given permission to view such insights into what may have been ‘hurting’ my ‘business’. Even just an email warning me about a potential deactivation. It is as simple as that, but of course Instagram have made it clear that they claim no responsibility whatsoever. If Instagram are going to give you the option to run your account as a ‘business’ account, then allow us the option to see, not only our assets, but our liabilities. Such insight and feedback is critical. As so many have come to rely on social media for their business, and Instagram as a part of their livelihood, Instagram need to be held accountable and cannot continue to remain so elusive.
It would seem that it is Instagram’s way or the highway. So whilst some of us are here to genuinely make a difference, it is sad that our efforts can so easily be crushed under such tyranny. Due to my appalling experience with Instagram, I am here to provide some much-needed feedback and advice.
So if Instagram do have a global team ‘dedicated’ to reviewing reports and removing particular content, perhaps they should consider having their ‘support’ team actually do what their title states…support!
Instagram…What constitutes immediate deactivation without notice, and how does one go about remedying the situation prior to it actually happening?
If Instagram continue to remain as elusive as they do, uncontactable and unreliable, how does one warrant a response, especially after numerous attempts at contact, and across various platforms? Do your part to incorporate some sort of social responsibility. Be more accountable. Stop with the dictatorship.
Please let me know if you have encountered a similar situation, I would love to hear from you.
If you have encountered a similar situation, or your business has been a victim of the carelessness of Instagram’s blurred guidelines, please get in contact so we can rally together in standing up for a good cause!
I also ask that you, pretty please, share this article and get the word out.
The Nude Blogger