Instagram updates guidelines to strengthen nudity ban

17 Apr 2015

Instagram has attracted some flack recently for its rules on nudity, but the photo-sharing app’s resolve appears to have only been strengthened by the criticism.

Celebrities like Cara Delevingne, Miley Cyrus and Scout Willis have been critical of Instagram’s stance, and have helped promote the #freethenipple campaign, which highlights the perceived inequality between male and female nudity on the app.

Earlier this month, Madonna posted a throwback photograph that displayed most of her right breast. When the image was removed by Instagram, the singer uploaded a censored version of the image with the caption: “Why is it ok to show ass but not breasts? Drowning in the hypocrisy of social media”.


Despite this criticism, Instagram will not be altering its policy on nudity but, as pointed out by TechCrunch, the social network’s newly updated Community Guidelines expand on what is and isn’t allowed.

“We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that shows sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks,” it wrote.

“It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK too.”

These new guidelines are unlikely to appease critics though as they now state in black-and-white that photographs involving the female body are being singled out for censorship.

Instagram’s old Community Guidelines are still available to view via Scribd.

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic