Instagram is reportedly deleting accounts of hundreds of adult movie stars
Hundreds of adult film stars and sex workers allegedly had their Instagram accounts deleted this year, and an increasing number of those in the business are now fighting for their right to be seen on social media platforms, the BBC reports.
One of the leading voices in this flight belongs to Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild.
"I should be able to model my Instagram account on Sharon Stone or any other verified profile, but the reality is that doing that would get me deleted," says Evans.
Her organisation has collated a list of more than 1,300 performers who say that despite not displaying any nudity or sex, their accounts have been deleted by Instagram's content moderators for violations of the site's community standards.
"They discriminate against us because they don't like what we do for a living," Evans says.
In June, campaigners met with Instagram's representatives, which led to the establishment of a new appeal system for removed accounts.
Soon after, however, the talks halted and adult performers' accounts reportedly continued being deleted.
For Evans, the last straw came when the account of porn star Jessica Jaymes was removed after her death in September this year.
"When I saw that Jessica's account was deleted, my heart sunk. It was the last straw," she says.
Although the account was eventually reinstated, the same cannot be said for other Instagram users in the business.
Controversial content is regularly posted on Instagram. In fact, rapper YG even posted a video of him handing his three-year-old daughter a bag of weed:
In 2018, a campaign was waged to report accounts belonging to x-rated performers, with the intent of having them removed. An anonymous user, known amongst sex workers' rights campaigners as ''Omid'', claims to have been responsible for the deletion of hundreds of accounts.
Adult worker and sex workers' rights activist, Ginger Banks, was one of the targets of the effort.
"When you put time and effort into building an account with over 300,000 followers and it gets deleted, that makes you feel defeated. Even if you’re following the rules, you still have your account deleted. And that’s the part that’s frustrating.
The people reporting us don’t understand that people’s incomes are affected, or they don’t care. They think that we shouldn’t be doing this job or it shouldn’t exist. I’ve never posted explicit images on Instagram. But even a picture of me wearing leggings could be extremely provocative to someone, and worthy of being reported. We’re letting these businesses determine what is art and what is pornography and then punish us."
A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, told the BBC:
"With such a globally diverse community, we have to put rules in place around nudity and sexual solicitation to ensure content is appropriate for everyone, particularly young people.
"We will take action on content reported to us if it breaks these rules. We give people the opportunity to appeal the decision and will reinstate content if we mistakenly remove something."