Internet | February 3, 2021 10:37 am

“Hollyboob” Was About Instagram Censorship, Apparently

Julia Rose says Hollyboob was a statement against Instagram's war on sex

hollyboob
Long live Hollyboob.
RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

For a few brief, shining moments earlier this week, the iconic Hollywood sign read “Hollyboob” instead. But because nothing gold can ever stay, the sign was swiftly returned to its original, boobless state after police intervened and arrested the masterminds behind the stunt.

Among the pranksters was influencer Julia Rose, founder and CEO of adult website Shagmag, which considers itself “Playboy’s hotter, younger sister.” Rose was linked to the Hollyboob stunt early on, after the influencer shared a series of social media posts in which she posed in front of the altered sign and took credit for its makeover. But while initial reports suggested the stunt was done to promote breast cancer awareness, Rose has since come forward claiming Hollyboob was actually a statement against Instagram’s censorship of sex workers and sex content.

In an interview with Vice, Rose explained that the Hollyboob antics were done in an attempt to get Instagram’s attention, calling the platform out for suspending her Instagram accounts (including Shagmag’s) while failing to administer the same consequences to brands like Playboy.

“My product is nearly identical to that of Playboy’s, and my content may even be considered safer than what Playboy’s has been allowed to publish on your platform,” Rose told Vice. “I want to know how they are picking and choosing which accounts to disable and why.”

While Hollyboob certainly got plenty of attention, Rose said Instagram has remained “extremely unresponsive,” and claims the only response she’s received from Instagram owner Facebook is a message from an employee advising Rose to label her next account as “male,” as it will then be less likely to be taken down.

Instagram’s notorious censorship, including bizarre and often sexist guidelines that disproportionately police female-presenting bodies, has been a point of increasing frustration among sex workers and sex educators, many of whom rely on the platform to promote their brands.

“I think this affects ALL creators,” Rose told Vice. “The more we allow these platforms to censor us, the more they will continue to do so. There needs to be more communication between the platforms and the creators. I believe women should be able to express themselves in a safe and justified way without being censored and shut down because of their body.”

Is Hollyboob the answer to the internet’s increasingly aggressive war on sex? Maybe not, but we must fight back against the dangers of censorship by any means possible. Long live Hollyboob.

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