Instagram Censors Artworks Showing the Female Body

Text and photos by guest blogger, photographer Jannica Honey

Your account may be deleted. Screenshot by Jannica Honey, 2021

Instagram Censors MY Artworks

Like the night stalker, but not randomly, the algorithms have been killing. The first strike happened in 2016. My pregnant friend was immediately removed and a 30 days ban was put in place on my Instagram account. I learned from the outset that (female) nipples were an absolute no. I learnt how to remove them in photoshop, but the censorship didn’t end there. My photography was pulled offline like it was the most dangerous imagery a (wo)man could witness. My body of work When The Blackbird Sings was about ALL the diverse bodies/ages of women, in Nature, lit by twilight. I hid nipples and genitals, but nothing was enough for the social media platforms. I compared images. I reported porn but in some kind of patriarchal (normalised) way, my images were always the ones that were eliminated. I came to realised that the most threatening thing was a (female) body CLOSE to Nature. A female body in full power, perfect AS SHE IS. Empowering women were NOT welcome. What would follow if humans were just content, as they are? The whole world would change.

A couple of weeks ago I tried for the first time to boost (pay Instagram to show) one of my posts. Promoting my photography business and perhaps quietly wishing I could reach some more customers. Businesses are doing this all the time. However, this proved to be difficult because of my shadowban.

I posted a cropped female bodyscape, excluding all-female details. The image was instantly rejected. The sheer idea of simply FEMALE SKIN was declined. It was my father’s birthday. As a celebration of how the masculine body is treated differently, I (as a joke) boosted his birthday post! There he was, nipples and all, in the twilight, the body that was the template for all of us… Instagram (IG) sent me a receipt for my £10 and my dad’s nipples were on display for a broader crowd than my followers.


Problem – solution! Instagram screenshots by Jannica Honey, March-April 2021

What do you think?

YES, it was worth spending money on establishing that IG are full of shit and I wasn’t going insane with thoughts around female oppression. The power structures of the 21st century have created a dogmatic platform that penalised female-owned businesses.

Related Link

Artist Jannica Honey Believes Her Images Are Being Censored by the Algorithms
When The Blackbird Sings – Artist Statement by Jannica Honey
Social Media Censorship of Queer And Feminist Art