Instagram has come under fire for censoring Australian comedic juggernaut Celeste Barber’s post. In the post, shared on Friday, Barber had juxtaposed her image with that of Victoria’s secret model Candice Swanepoel’s portrait, imitating the pose.
Barber has been posting similar images in her #CelesteChallengeAccepted series of parody images to her audience of 7.3 million,The Guardian reported. The Victoria portrait shows Swanepoel clutching her bare breast and exposing side boob.
Barber made a quirky post out of the image. As she copied Swanepoel’s pose and style, the comedian wore a different expression. Not thoughtful, not serene. It showed her head tilted backwards as she had an expression of tiredness and grumpiness. “When you finally sit down and your kid asks for a drink,” she wrote in the caption.
The two images were identical in term of pose, Instagram censored Barber’s photograph and barred her followers from reposting the image citing the reason that it went against the community guidelines on nudity or sexual activity. Swanepoel’s post did not face any such action.
Barber later called out Instagram for “body shaming” and wrote, “Hey Instagram, sort out your body-shaming standards, guys.” “It’s 2020. Catch up,” she added. With this incident, and many more, Instagram faces allegations of ‘favouring thin, white, cisgendered people’.
Instagram algorithm uses AI technology as well as manual reporting to see if images are as per the community guidelines. It has over 15,000 employees across the globe who review the posts and see if they are in tandem with the guidelines. This raises questions over Instagram’s choice of censoring one image, while leaving out another which is identical.
Instagram has often been criticised for cracking down on content about sexuality and nudity. It had even briefly banned the hashtags #gay, #lesbian, #bi.