Bare Breasts Can Now Be Squeezed on Instagram

Instagram changes its rules—but still offers no true clarification on why sex workers are routinely targeted.

Good news, bad news from Instagram: The beloved app announced October 26 that it will be adjusting its nudity policies after public outcry earlier this summer. The beloved app still has not spoken about the frequent shadow bans of adult performers.

In early August, plus-sized, Black influencer Nyome Nicholas-Williams had topless photos of herself removed from her unverified Instagram account (the account has since been verified). The resulting controversy ended in Instagram both clarifying why Nicholas-Williams’ photos were taken down (in one, she was holding her bare breasts, and Instagram’s combination of automated and human-led moderating has previously flagged breast squeezing as pornographic) and a promise from Instagram to review its policies.

Now Instagram has finally spoken about the results of that review. Going forward, the app will allow “pictures of women holding, cupping or wrapping their arms around their breasts.”

“It may take some time to ensure we’re correctly enforcing these new updates, but we’re committed to getting this right,” an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement to the Thomson Reuters foundation.

“Hearing [Nicholas-Williams’] feedback helped us understand where this policy was falling short, and how we could refine it,” the spokesperson explained. “Overall I’m very glad about the policy change and what this could mean for Black plus-size bodies,” Nicholas-Williams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Still no word from Instagram on why they predominately target sex workers’ accounts, but at least influencers can now hold their bare breasts.

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