Instagram updates nudity policy after model’s ‘racial bias’ campaign

By PA Reporter
·2-min read

Instagram is to update its nudity policy after accusations it censored a plus-size model.

The social media platform has announced it will “allow content where someone is simply hugging, cupping or holding their breasts” following a campaign by activist Nyome Nicholas-Williams.

Ms Nicholas-Williams, who is black, wrote to Instagram after a picture in which she was holding her breasts was removed by the site – something she argued demonstrated “racial bias”.

She and her supporters argued the platform was discriminatory because it had not taken action against the likes of Emily Ratajkowski, Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, who uploaded near-nude pictures of themselves.

Instagram has announced it will update its nudity policy on Wednesday, “to help ensure all body types are treated fairly” after admitting it was “falling short” on how its rules were being applied.

In a statement, Instagram said it will “have to draw the line somewhere” so when people squeeze their breasts “in a grabbing motion with bent fingers or if there is a clear change in the shape of the breasts, that content will still break our rules”.

The policy will apply across Instagram and its parent company Facebook.

Ms Nicholas-Williams said: “I want to ensure that we are being respected and allowed to use spaces like Instagram, as many other creators do, without the worry of being censored and silenced.

“This is a huge step and I am glad a dialogue has now been opened into changes that can be made when women work together and use their platforms to make change.”

Kira Wong O’Connor, head of policy at Instagram, said: “We know people feel more empowered to express themselves and create communities of support – like the body positivity community – if they feel that their bodies and images are accepted.

“We are grateful to Nyome for speaking openly and honestly about her experiences and hope this policy change will help more people to confidently express themselves. It may take some time to ensure we’re correctly enforcing these new updates but we’re committed to getting this right.”