Artists and Instagram continue to have different ideas about what makes an image inappropriate. In its latest fight against nudity, Instagram appears to have banned electronic music producer Arca after he published artwork yesterday that depicted a nude woman. In this case, the art is a distinctly digital creation, and the woman is even kind of amorphous. But that still appears to be against Instagram's famously strict nudity policy, which prohibits "photos, videos, and some digitally created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks." The image, made by artist Jesse Kanda, accompanied Arca's latest track, "Vanity."
Instagram has even tried to remind Madonna not to break the rules
"Jesse's art for 'Vanity' got my Instagram account deleted forever," Arca writes on Twitter. "This is the world we live in." Instagram did not respond to a request for comment.
In the past, we've seen Instagram ban Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne at least twice for posting photos of nudity. Rihanna was briefly — and apparently accidentally — once banned for posting images from a photo shoot that showed her nipples. And it's not hard to find a long list of artists who have been kicked off the service for nudity reasons as well, including (briefly) Richard Prince. Instagram even went so far as to remind Madonna of its terms of service, which doesn't really seem like a sensible thing to do.
It's not particularly surprising that Arca's post crossed the line for Instagram — it's banned accounts for less. But the conflict just continues to show how Instagram can't quite get along with all of the artists on its service. Despite its prohibition on nudity being a recurring source of controversy, Instagram's only explanation is this: "We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram."