Recently, Rocco Hard, a popular model known for his lycra-and-spandex looks, encountered censorship on Instagram when a photo of him in sportswear was removed, prompting questions about the platform’s perplexing interpretation of its own NSFW policies. This incident sparked concerns within the LGBTQ+ community about potential bias in Instagram’s content moderation, especially since similar, more risqué content remains untouched on the accounts of straight influencers. However, the platform issued an apology to Hard.
“Thank you for taking the time to request a review and helping us improve our systems,” Instagram noted. “Our priority is keeping the community safe and respectful, so sometimes we have to take precautions.”
The situation highlights a broader issue of how social media platforms may disproportionately target queer, non-white, and feminist creators, as noted by UC San Diego professor Annie Brown. The inconsistency in Instagram’s policy application extends beyond just the removal of a photo; it underscores a broader conversation about the power wielded by social media giants in defining what’s considered normal or acceptable and how the LGBTQ+ community navigates these digital spaces.
As for Rocco, his ass was largely unbothered.