Censorship is a difficult thing to regulate on the Internet, and becomes even more controversial when people’s personal beliefs are as stake. The Internet itself is not regulated; however, particular sites can choose what content they include online and what they block.

 

One site that has been taking stronger measures to control what is posted is Instagram.

 

Instagram has been known to block users who post inappropriate pictures, like Rihanna’s topless photo. However, as of late the matter has become a bit more extreme. Instagram has deleted entire accounts because of one photo, and often times these photos are of women’s nipples.

 

(cameronpostforoosh/Instagram)

(cameronpostforoosh/Instagram)

Removing nudity from one’s site is understandable, and may in fact be seen as applaudable. However, when you take a closer look at the photos that have been banned in comparison to the photos that remain online, the matter becomes a bit more complicated.

 

Some photographs, like the one shown to the left, depict completely naked women, with the exception of blacked out nipples. These pictures remain on Instagram, and their accounts are still active.

 

Photos like this are artistic, but it is undeniable that they are appealing because of their sexual air.

 

 

(helloamerikaw/Instagram)

(helloamerikaw/Instagram)

Other pictures, like this one from helloamerikaw, are of completely dressed women with a slight bit of nipple showing — in this case a mother breast-feeding. This women’s entire account has been deleted and all of her photos are lost.

 

While there may be nipple showing in this photograph, the woman’s body is not being put on display in a sexual way. The purpose of the nipple in this case is not to sell sex, but instead illustrate womanhood and motherhood.

 

The method of Instagram’s censorship begs the question, are the editors looking at the pictures, or are they simply adhering to a criteria checklist? It would seem they are scanning for nipples in hopes of easily censoring a mass number of photos, however this method may not be the best option.

 

What are your thoughts on Instagram censoring their users? Let us know in the comments below or tweet me @LydiaYekalam