Internet | October 26, 2021 1:00 pm

Instagram Says Friendly Boob Slapping Violates Its Community Guidelines

The social media company is removing creators’ access to the link sticker for some pretty ridiculous reasons.

A person on Instagram.
Chokniti Khongchum/EyeEm/Getty Images

Social media platforms have long been unwelcoming to sex workers and adult content creators trying to make a living online. Even OnlyFans, the subscription-based platform that became a billion-dollar company thanks largely to sex workers monetizing their content on the platform, announced a ban on nudity and sex that would have left sex workers out to dry (yet again) … had the company not backtracked following public outcry. 

The most recent attack on sexually explicit content comes from Instagram, where some accounts have lost their “link sticker” privileges for posting images that supposedly go against the platform’s community guidelines. In an absurd report from Buzzfeed, however, Stephanie McNeal details how the policing operation has gone awry. 

On top of Instagram’s needless gatekeeping, which still only allows verified accounts or accounts with over 10,000 followers to share links and resources on the platform, the update was intended to block users from further spreading content that has consistently violated Instagram’s safety policies by, say, harassing other individuals or repeatedly making use of hate speech on the platform. While that policy sounds good in theory, the problem is that the site is currently defining harassment and hate speech in some hilariously loose terms. 

Fashion and lifestyle influencer Jess Bonds (@pacificnorthjess_) told McNeal that she lost her access to the link sticker after receiving a violation for “bullying/harassment.” The infraction in question? A video of Bonds jokingly slapping her friend’s boob. 

“Starting October 25, you will no longer have access to the link sticker because you have shared content that violates our community guidelines.” That means Bonds loses access to a feature (the replacement of the ol’ swipe-up) that allows her to directly share affiliate links, earning commissions off the purchases her followers make … all for playfully knockin’ around her friend’s knockers.

The platform also jacked link-sticker rights from wine and lifestyle influencer Erika Altes (@whiskeyandlace) for an instance of hate speech in which she posted a pic of her brother and wrote — brace yourselves now —  “boys are so gross.” 

In a separate post, Altes racked up another ding after attempting to “incite violence.” The post very violently stated that Altes wanted to burn her house down after finding a dead mouse in her Yeti cooler. 

In a statement, Instagram told McNeal, “We’re investigating an issue where people may have mistakenly been notified that they will be restricted, and we’re working on resolving this as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, it would appear you’re still able (but not invited) to drop nonconsensual dick pics into my DMs at your leisure.