End Homophobic Instagram Practices

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Philip Earley started this petition to Facebook and

It seems at an alarming rate, Instagram and its parent company Facebook, has an automation that is targeting gay art, pro-sexual, and accounts that have links in their bio to sites such as (but not limited to) onlyfans.com, justfor.fans, or related subscription services (which can contain adult material, or simply subscription based content).

The major issue at hand is the fact that cis-gendered accounts (mainly females with high follower accounts or verified status selling sex, pornography, nudity on the platform—receive little to no suppression, or far less account deletions than their gay, arts-focused, and non-cisgendered counterparts.

As of September 20th, 2019, the updated community guidelines on sexuality are as follows:

“14. Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity
We restrict the display of nudity or sexual activity because some people in our community may be sensitive to this type of content. Additionally, we default to removing sexual imagery to prevent the sharing of non-consensual or underage content. Restrictions on the display of sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless it is posted for educational, humorous, or satirical purposes.

Our nudity policies have become more nuanced over time. We understand that nudity can be shared for a variety of reasons, including as a form of protest, to raise awareness about a cause, or for educational or medical reasons. Where such intent is clear, we make allowances for the content. For example, while we restrict some images of female breasts that include the nipple, we allow other images, including those depicting acts of protest, women actively engaged in breast-feeding, and photos of post-mastectomy scarring. We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures.”

So why is it that two females can be featured without restrictions, nipples showing, while gay males suffer restrictions issues? When I repost this very same post... I get 20% reach and it actually does surprisingly well (however people unfollow me without reading the caption), yet my non-sexual posts get a typical 5% reach instead? 

Examples:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2XkwsbAAjD/?igshid=id2e9c9o2mr5

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2UTfXOAZd6/?igshid=1jn0qj11v63s0

Here are the questions we want Instagram (and Facebook) to answer:

1. How does the algorithm detect inappropriate content? 

2. For how long for are hashtags removed from the “recent” tab? Is there a way to speed up the process of reinstating hashtags and removing the shadowban from a person’s profile?

3. How does the “reporting” process work? E.g. how many people should report a user or a hashtag for them to be shadowbanned / for their account to be disabled? 

4. Will the “inappropriate content” policy evolve? Some users are suggesting we should have a warning about content being inappropriate / shadowbanned before posting, so we can take it down before the shadowban starts if that is the case. 

5. Is the algorithm trained to notice hashtags first, or does it also detect nudity? How does nudity detection work?

6. Do you recommend posting hashtags in comments or is that viewed as spam by the algorithm?

7. How does the algorithm distinguish between artistic and sexual nudity? 

8. Is there a difference between underwear and lingerie content? 

9. Does being affected by banned hashtags mean you are also blacklisted for your account to be disabled?

10. Some users are lamenting that they find their accounts have automatically unfollowed accounts they didn’t want to unfollow, while others are noticing huge drops in following overnight. Does Instagram unfollow ‘inappropriate’ accounts for users?

11. Why are ‘risqué’ celebrities’ accounts not disabled or shadowbanned?

12. Users who report issues to Instagram – e.g. accounts being shadowbanned, disabled etc – lament that they are not getting any responses from the team. How long does the average answer take? 

13. Does the algorithm rank business accounts lower than personal ones in terms of views?

14. Is nudity higher up than, say, hunting posts, gun posts, harassment? Users have lamented those are not being deleted when reported.

15. How are moderators trained to report inappropriate content e.g. whose ethos do they follow other than community guidelines? 

16. Are gay art accounts more at risk than cis-gendered ones due to subject matter?

17. Does the algorithm take into consideration sexual identity when disabling accounts?

18. Why are accounts with heterosexual females allowed to market their onlyfans, justforfans, Snapchat, amongst other services while gay accounts clearly cannot? 

19. If links in bios such as onlyfans are used, and then targeted, why aren’t they banned outright? Like other links, your platform should not allow the user to save them, indicating it’s a problem.

Amongst these issues, we want to know why any form of LGBTQ+ art, be it sexual or not, is being targeted by Instagram’s algorithm, and why accounts have zero support (even when they pay for promotions), they receive zero communication or support from the platform.

Surely, a platform that supports “pride month” and rainbow colored hashtags shouldn’t be allowing cis-gendered accounts a free pass while ruining the engagement, hard work, and dedication of LGBTQ+ accounts.

What we aim for is a platform of equality, where we don’t have to fear being erased when we work tirelessly to provide solid content that doesn’t violate community guidelines. If we, as LGBTQ+ members of the Instagram community are breaking guidelines — we ask for fair treatment, explanations, and methods of support to work with Instagram/Facebook to protect our accounts, livelihoods, and identities as creators on their social platform.

Signed,

@misterdickjames (@misterjamesisalive) / Deleted at 91k+ Followers

@jockandbear (@thejockandbear) / Deleted at 120k+ Followers

@bearscubsandbears (@bearscubsandbears1) / Deleted at 89k+ Followers

@kitten_bear / Deleted at 104k+ Followers

@thehairyhunk (@thehairyhunk_) / Deleted at 250k+ Followers

@artedgar / 27k+ Followers / Disabled for 6 Months

@michaeltorres0022 / 20.4k+ Followers

@mascular_studio / 26.8k+ Followers

@rego_v / 87.7k+ Followers

@tankjoey / 430k+ Followers 

@vignolagram / 45.7k+ Followers

@beefcakesmen / 307k+ Followers 

@thebearmag / 67.2k+ Followers

@el_bulldog_ingles / 51.8k+ Followers

 

 

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At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!