Instagram Updates Community Standards To Clarify Rules On Porn, Harassment

Instagram has clarified its community guidelines, adding details to already existing policies.

Instagram has clarified its community guidelines, adding details to already existing policies.

So far in 2015, some of the top social media and blogger platform companies have made changes to their content policies. While Facebook clarified its approach to complaints about supposedly offensive posts, Google went back-and-forth on its content policy regarding sexually explicit or graphic nudity on its Blogger platform. Now, Instagram is getting in on the action by adding details to rules governing user conduct and what is deemed appropriate content on the photo sharing site.

The Washington Post reports that Instagram updated its community standards this week, aiming to give users of the site more understanding of how it patrols content on the network.

Although Instagram isn’t actually changing any policies – only clarifying details of previous practices – users will see a more robust listing on the social network’s community guidelines page, the company’s director of public policy, Nicky Jackson Colaco, tells the Post.

The newly detailed guidelines – meant to represent a basic standard of behavior for users – somewhat mimics that of Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, which underwent its own policy clarification last month.

Previously, the guidelines were formatted in a sort of oversimplified do’s and don’ts lists, the Post reports.

Instagram’s community standards now provide specific information about what is and isn’t allowed on the site.

For example, while the policy previously states that users should be polite and respectful of others, the new clarified version specifies that threats of harm to public and personal safety aren’t allowed to be used.

“We want to foster a positive, diverse community,” the revamped guidelines state. “We remove content that contains credible threats or hate speech, content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them, personal information meant to blackmail or harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages. We do generally allow stronger conversation around people who are featured in the news or have a large public audience due to their profession or chosen activities.”

As for the content of photos being shared on the site, the company has clarified that nudity in general, including pornography, is a no-no. However, the policy now clarifies that photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are okay to post. Additionally, pictures of paintings and sculptures that include nudity are allowed.

“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. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks,” the guidelines state.

Jackson Colaco says that the more detailed policies were necessitated in part because of the company’s going popularity.

“When we first created these guidelines, we were a small photo-sharing app,” she tells the Post, adding that the policies are an evolving piece of work for the company.

Instagram updates its rules to explain how it deals with nudity and abuse [The Washington Post]