Instagram has undergone quite a few changes since it first started popping up on our phones. Within the last few months alone they’ve partnered with Tinder to provide a more comprehensive profile, and launched a new app called Layout that allows you to stitch your Instagram pics together. Now, their latest adjustment is to the Community Guidelines page, which specifically outline what flies and what doesn’t on the social media platform.
“In the old guidelines, we would say ‘don’t be mean’,” Nicky Jackson Colaco, director of public policy for Instagram, told the Wall Street Journal. “Now we’re actively saying you can’t harass people. The language is just stronger.”
The new rules state that “credible threats or hate speech, content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them, personal information meant to blackmail or harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages” will be deleted. In addition, “serious threats of harm to public and personal safety” are strictly banned from the site.
While many may welcome the platform’s harder stance on harassment, their updated nudity rules could be a bit more controversial. The site has come under fire for removing posts that raise questions about double standards—particularly for women. Users have accused Instagram of everything from body-shaming to sexism, for removing images of partially-clothed women and #freethenipple advocates.
The latest Community Guidelines make some nudity clarifications—sort of. The new rules state that “photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks” are off limits to the community. As are “some” images of female nipples. However, they cite that “photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”
In addition, Instagram has also revised their guidelines to suggest what users should do if they see a photo they may not like, but one that doesn’t violate the rules: “You can unfollow or block the person who posted it, and if there’s something you don’t like in a comment on one of your posts, you can delete that comment.” Basically, if you don’t have something nice to say, just don’t say anything at all. There’s also going to be a harsher punishment dealt to users who continually break the rules—disabled accounts. That’s tough love right there.
At the end of the day? Instagram’s just trying to make the online world a better place. “We want Instagram to continue to be an authentic and safe place for inspiration and expression… Respect everyone.” That’s not such a bad philosophy to have, and it’s pretty straightforward no matter which way you spin it.
We get it. It’s pretty much impossible to police the entirety of Instagram, especially when there are more than 300 million users uploading photos to the app every single day. But hopefully the new clarification on this rule will prevent a lot more incidents of wrongful deletion.
[Featured image via.]