My back was too provocative

Mid-February 2023 I discovered some of my work had once again been put on the equivalent of Instagram’s naughty step. I was – to all intents and purposes – invisible there.

There’s a new way this is being exercised, so what is commonly known as ‘shadow-banning’ (which Instagram don’t officially say they do) has been re-branded under a ‘recommendation guideline’.

Deep in your account settings, now under ‘Help’, are two lines. One is about breaching community guidelines. The other is about your content being appropriate to be ‘recommended’ on the Explore page to people who don’t already follow you.

The Reel in question was a camera shot skimming over three pieces of work I was embroidering, which featured the nude body but with thread across the nipples. Very occasionally I’ve had something similar deleted as I try to post it on Stories but then I just don’t post it, so as this was left on my account I had assumed it was OK.

When I discovered that it had this ‘flag’ and couldn’t be Recommended, I deleted it, but when it seemed my account had not been given the all-clear in 24 hours I pressed the button to Disagree with the decision. Another Reel was immediately flagged. This was one of my fairly typical Reels which showed me in my studio and then finished with this image above.

I debated for a few hours about whether or not to delete it or leave it and just suck up the fact that only followers could see it. In the end, I did delete it because I would prefer to be visible than not.

Another Reel was, however, immediately flagged…. me, showing the Harpies at a distance – for a very short moment.

This makes it almost impossible to use the platform to show work as it should be seen.

If you think you haven’t seen me for a while on Instagram, please do go and check if you can find my account. Like something, save it, or better still – share it. This helps my account stay visible.

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