When it comes to violating the rules of Instagram, posting a photo of a female nipple is a big no-no! You are most likely to get your photo removed. Just ask Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, or Chelsea Handler along with all the other females who had their photos removed.
The issue of male nipple versus female nipple has caused many users to rally against this double standard, bringing forth the #freethenipple hashtag! Advocates are Photoshopping male nipples onto female bodies and posting images where female nipples are covered with X’s, all to make a point.
This has been going on for almost a year and finally, Instagram has responded! Business Insider reports that Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has finally explained one of the key reasons that the company censors pictures of female nipples! And it is not quite what you would have expected... Blame the iPhone is what Instagram has said! Apple’s App Store has strict guidelines on what kind of content is allowed and violating these rules could cause the app to be removed. In order to keep Instagram available for iPhones, it has to abide by the company's standards. Unless the app is specifically restricted for adults only, it can’t feature any nudity.
Despite the censorship, Instagram remains “committed to artistic freedom,” according to Systrom. He continued that “in order to scale effectively there are [some] tough calls.” For Instagram, banning #FreeTheNipple is one of these tough calls. Apple has not yet responded but we are interested to see how they receive the blame.
Words: Frances van Eeden