After three months of campaigning and many accusations of algorithmic racism, Facebook and Instagram announced a change to the rules on nude photos on platforms. Exposure is still prohibited, but the platforms officially allow images of topless women, as long as they are holding, hugging or covering the six with their hands or arms. The new rules begin to take effect on Wednesday (28).
The changes are a direct reflection of demonstrations initiated by British plus-size model Nyome Nicholas-Williams. In August, she had a series of deleted images from Instagram in which she appeared naked, but with her hands or arms over her breasts. After almost having her profile deleted by what she rated as a censorship of the social network, she started the campaign in favor of changing the rules, pointing out that the algorithm worked differently according to the skin color of the model shown in the images.
She, black, pointed out different verified profiles of adult publications or not in which thin and white women appeared in poses similar to the photos that were deleted from her profile. In addition, Williams also demonstrated even more explicit images that passed through the sieve of the platforms with little or no penalty to profiles, in a campaign that won the support of other models from the black and plus-size community. From the mobilization, the hashtag #IWantToSeeNyome emerged and, also, a wave of online activism from creators belonging to minorities and marginalized communities.
Instagram originally claimed that Williams’ photos were removed due to an error in their systems, but admitted that the nudity-related rules were not being properly applied by their algorithms. The company thanked the model for its contribution and said that the feedback given by her and other campaign participants helped to refine the standards, which became, at the same time, more comprehensive and specific.
The company explained that its rules on explicit content exist to protect minors whose presence is guaranteed on the platform, provided they are over 13 years old. Although topless images, within the established conditions, are allowed, the photos cannot contain changes in the shape of the breasts by the position of the arms or hands. In addition, Instagram said that photos detected as dubious will no longer be taken off the air until they are evaluated by human moderators.
Now, the company asks creators for patience, as it can take some time for updates to be applied correctly. Instagram claims to be always open to feedback from its community, so that changes in usage and publication policies can serve them to express themselves with confidence and in the ways they deem appropriate.
Williams celebrated the decision in the same account that was targeted for the removal, saying that this is an important step against censorship and silencing black and minority women. She also thanked the models who included their names in an open letter that started the campaign for changes and pointed out that the fight continues, with the change in Instagram’s rules and algorithm being just the beginning.
Fonte: Engadget, Nyome Nicholas-Williams (Instagram)
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