Instagram Alters Nudity Policy to Allow Women to Hold Their Breasts

Instagram Alters Nudity Policy to Allow Women to Hold Their Breasts

LONDON — Instagram has announced it will be introducing a new nudity policy this week, which will now allow “pictures of women holding, cupping or wrapping their arms around their breasts.”

Instagram said the change was prompted by a campaign by Nyome Nicholas-Williams, a Black British plus-sized model, who had accused the Facebook-owned company of removing images showing her covering her breasts with her arms due to “racial biases” in its algorithm.

“It may take some time to ensure we’re correctly enforcing these new updates, but we’re committed to getting this right,” an Instagram spokesperson told the Thomson Reuters foundation.

“Hearing [Nicholas-Williams’] feedback helped us understand where this policy was falling short, and how we could refine it,” the spokesperson explained.

Nicholas-Williams told Thomson Reuters that “overall I’m very glad about the policy change and what this could mean for Black plus-size bodies.”

Instagram Apologizes

According to Thomson Reuters, Instagram “apologized last month to Nicholas-Williams and said it would update its policy, amid global concern over racism in technology following the global Black Lives Matter protests this year.”

Gina Martin — a feminist activist who worked with photographer Alexandra Cameron and Nicholas-Williams on their #IWantToSeeNyome Instagram-shaming campaign — told Thomson Reuters that “they had met Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri and been consulted on the new policy.”

“It’s rare that communities that are marginalized and misrepresented on Instagram get to have this kind of literally direct and one-on-one consultation with the CEO,” Martin said. “It’s rare that you’re this involved in a policy change.”

Mosseri, however, has a less than stellar record when dealing with sex workers, a historically marginalized and misrepresented community that has been vocal about their criticism of his company's discriminatory practices.

Last year, as XBIZ exclusively reported, high-level Facebook and Instagram representatives met with members of the adult performers’ union APAG to discuss discrimination against sex workers’ accounts.

But Mosseri did not meet with them and has refused to consider the mounting evidence about shadowbanning of sex workers’ accounts on the basis of who they are and not what they post, or about the puzzling persistence of copycat and catfish accounts while the real accounts are shadowbanned or otherwise penalized.

Also, Instagram announced its recent rules change via Thomson Reuters, a non-profit news gathering initiative with a socio-political agenda connected to Reuters.

Although the Thomas Reuters Foundation’s journalists claim to “cover the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly,” their articles stigmatize many sex workers and often conflate the legal adult industry with issues of human trafficking.

Main Image: Nyome Nicholas-Williams, Instagram.

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