Fresh off Instagram’s “accidental” removal and subsequent reinstatement of the Warwick Rowers’ account, the Facebook-owned photo sharing app is in the hot seat again for marking a post “offensive.”
The censored image showed two gay men kissing. It was uploaded by photographer Stella Asia Consonni, who received a message that it violated Instagram’s “community guidelines.”
Related: The photos that got the Warwick Rowers banned from Instagram
The photo features a real-life gay couple who have been together for seven years.
Here it is in all its “offensive” glory:
Consonni shared a screenshot of the message she received:
“If you violate our guidelines again,” the note warns, “your account may be restricted or disabled.”
Consonni followed up with some sharply-worded messages aimed at Instagram.
Related: Sen. Doug Jones weighs in on his gay son’s Instagram: “We’ve all seen it”
“Dear Instagram,” she wrote. “I am utterly disgusted that you have just deleted a picture of a gay couple kissing.”
“This is the pic that has just been taken down. Are you for real?!”
“And to the horrible person that reported it: Get the F off my Gram and crawl back to your homophobic little insignificant existence.”
Among those who were ticked off by the unwarranted removal was Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, who in a post of his own, urged Instagram to respond.
“Just been informed Instagram removed the following image for being ‘offensive and against guidelines’…” he wrote.
Eventually, Instagram issued a statement, saying this, too, was a “mistake.”
“This post was removed in error and we are sorry,” a spokesperson said. “It has since been reinstated.”
Well, they do look like they’re about to deep tongue each other, so maybe a bit over the top.
But they aren’t yet. When did Instagram install the precogs?
I agree. It’s pushing hard to the edge toward sexual
Crazy!! Only in America! You can show a dead corpse and a AK47 with it, but people kissing!!!!!! ???
Let me know when you find a photo with a hetero couple that doesn’t look like they’re about to deep tongue each, or perhaps more, that doesn’t come up over the top…
Well they should of sent a pic of two men shooting each other and this would never been an issue! (Sarcasm)
“Over the top”, “edge toward sexual”… Has any of you been checking Instagram in the last few years!? There are tons of women (and man) posting pics of themselves naked, literally. How those are “ok” with Istangram and this kissing it’s not?
There are tons of clear spam accounts on Instagram that are nothing but women with practically nipples and cooze and clearly looking to get porked hard and deep. Because I am “of a certain age”, I get lots of follow requests from these accounts whose owners assume men over 60 are intrinsically sad and lonely and herteo. It is amazingly difficult to get any of these accounts, which are clearly catfish looking to get you to scam websites, taken down! And yet a kiss between two men gets easily censored.
This is implicit homophobia and cynical capitulation to the blue nosed by Facebook/Instagram who care only for the numbers of people whose information they can steal and sell. There is no such thing as a progressive agenda by a publicly held multinational corporation, regardless of what their stated ethics might be. The bottom line is all that matters.
paul dorian lord fredine
it’s the same old ‘mistake’ excuse, much like the ‘it was just a joke’, ‘i was only kidding’….tired, lame and totally not to be believed. they simply got caught in their hypocrisy.
Here’s an idea. How about Instagram start tracking the trolls that frivolously flag these photos, wasting everybody’s time and energy. Then delete their account.
GoForIt, what a GREAT idea! So yeah, instagram and face book and other social media that want to cram their “community standards” down the throats of those of us who are NOT a part of the religious right’s “community,” track down good-loving-christian-hater-trolls who are “gawd’s watchdogs” and remove them from your web sites!
My son had sent me a face book photo, and I forwarded it to my FB friends because it “meets our community standards.” The righteous face book people removed the photo and also my FB profile for 30-days. While removed, I merely open a new profile! When I told my son what had happened to his forwarded photograph, he laughed and said that he evidently does not have the same good-loving-christian-hater-trolls that I do because he didn’t have the very same photo removed from his timeline nor was it removed from the profile from which he forwarded the photo to me.
As a result of being “banned” for 30-days and having my absolutely-in-good-taste-for-my-community, I started sending “inappropriate” messages on photos that I was seeing on face book that were “in keeping with” homophobic “standards.” I hope that every last one of them had to experience exactly what I did. PLEASE NOTE: Mandated hetrosexuality is NOT in keeping with Gay community standards! All implications and suggestions of hetrosexuality should be banned from social media! How does this sound to all of you hetrocentric homophobes? The days of Gay human beings shuddering in our closets, not daring to come out, are OVER! Now, things are very upfront and simple: We’re here. We’re QUEER. Get used to it.
Best Idea all day!!!
It is a bit “raw”… They allow some gay kisses and don’t allow others, get over it just like some nudity is art and some nudity is porn…
Have they deleted any str8 kissing?
SO you’re claiming a kiss is like porn? Please show us comparable hetero photos that have been deleted.
It’s not raw and I’ve seen far more explicit images of hetero couples that weren’t censored. This is simply a double standard. Hetero couples aren’t “less raw” than Queer couples. Get over it.
It raw in my eyes and I also enjoy gay porn on “ADULT” gay porn sites. Instagram is a family oriented site, and if you have seen heteros kissing there like this then it is up to you to report them. And please post a link here of heteros kissing like this. Facebook is notorious for banning breasts as well… this is no different, this is over the top face sucking, Please stop trying to normalize porn and maybe others may stop trying to normalize racism and hate speech. There is a love kiss and then there is the, let’s shack the F up kiss…. This is the latter. GET A MOTEL! Crawl out of the bar, the poppers and the whipped cream jellos shots long enough to realize there is a gay world outside the gay jocks strap, leather bar, gay hooker clubs. Gays with kids and gays who do not live in the bars do not see life the same way. Go to a porn site if you want porn. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of gay kisses that have been allowed on FB and Instagram… Heteros sucking face in front of kids are just as repulsive, “equally” repulsive.. Stop whining. If i was a moderator I would have banned this kiss too…
If they do the same with similar straight kisses, then they would have said so, but they didn’t. It is a double standard because homophobes and religious bigots (as if there’s a difference) single us out and Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites do nothing about it. Instead, they apologize when confronted about it and say it’s “a mistake,” as if that’s nearly good enough.
RexRed–I just read your second comment: Does the sight of a little tongue make you ill or get you aroused; which is it? How is the sight of a man’s tongue touching another man’s mouth equivalent to a woman’s breasts? (Though I think it’s men’s sexualization of women’s breasts that is the problem, not the breasts themselves, and society should get over itself–but that’s just me.) It’s your, and others, hangups about PDAs that are the issue here, not pictures of kisses that you are illogically equating to porn in your comment. I have kissed my partner with far more passion than this in mixed company, and we weren’t planning on “shacking the F uck up;” we already are “shacking up” and have been for 15 years. People kiss like this because they LOVE one another, not just because they want to screw. If you don’t know that, it says more about your frame of mind and lack of a full life than this picture and the current ability of gay men to separate affection and sexuality.
Art is supposed to be a bit “raw,” otherwise, it’s just another picture devoid of any artistic value or interest. Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.
gayjim1969, Does it excite you when young kids are exposed to a smutty gay kiss? Is this why you defend this kind of lurid public exhibition? It sure seems like it.
Fine art is supposed to be “written between the lines”… There is a reason why most R rated movies are not all out porno. Because movies and most movie goers have a bit more “class”. This is why songs with explicit lyrics have age restrictions. Even all porno sites have rules and “restrictions”…
Us gays have been forced to stay in the closet for years and brutalized by hate. I know that, so have I been brutalized by homophobe hate. I also know that there are many extremes that adults shelter children from. Not all people both hetero and non hetero understand this. Some people out there post smut all day trying to push the envelope farther and farther. Instagram is not the place to do this… There are plenty of porn sites where this is welcome.
People who kiss like this in front of kids have no sense of morality, it doesn’t matter what your “thing” is.
If you want to imply this type of censorship is only directed towards gays , prove it. Otherwise you are just blathering and aimlessly pointing fingers. This might indicate the problem you have is more personal rather than “real”…
You have some serious issues with what constitutes porn and art. You pretend you know what discrimination against gays is like and yet you follow the same book that has been used to degrade gays for a long time. Ooo gays kissing and a kid may see it and be emotionally scared (funny how you guys always think the kid will be traumatized rather than liberated). It’s funny how you make the specious argument that gays with kids see things differently than, a long list of gays you feel are degenerates. No that is you projecting your dislikes and likes on to others with no proof that they are as puritanical as you are. I’ve heard from people like you for decades about how if gays only acted better (no pride parades, no drag queens, no leathermen, no nothing but guys trying to imitate heterosexuals) then everything would be fine. That despite all evidence to the contrary.
This has been Facebook and Instagrams M.O. for YEARS. They remove lgbt related posts, then if somebody threatens to sue or gets publicity they claim it was all a “Mistake”. As the local LGBT bars in your home town how many times this exact same thing has happened with their ads
If anyone thinks that this is too “raw”, you’re fooling yourselves. Seen plenty of heteros kissing on Insta and Facebook, AND MORE, and their shit never gets deleted or flagged. Double standards. Double standards EVERYWHERE.
Pretty much my exact same reply (which I posted before I read your comment). You’re exactly right, it’s a double standard being applied to images of Queer people. I’m fairly sure there are automated processes that delete such images with enough complaints, but if the system is that flawed, maybe the need to invest in some humans to intervene.
So a bit of tongue? No glans penis or furry anus? Puritanical!
Here is how the social media moderator industry works……..high school dropouts who lack the social skills required to hold down an entry level job in retail….get hired to sit at home and review content violation complaints. They don’t even bring the post being reported up on the screen to view it. They go down the list, clicking three buttons to confirm the violation and move on to the next. A few bigots actually bother to view the posts and if the posts are anything which they personally find objectionable….they again click buttons three times to confirm the violation and then move on to the next one.
Bigot users of social media spend more time flagging content which they find objectionable yet do not violate that site’s content guidelines and the content gets removed anyway because those homebased reviewers don’t have to answer to a supervisor.
That photo is the very definition of a “French kiss”. Raw? LOL.
I’m a fairly straight laced gay man (at least my radical gay friends tell me so). When I closely examine the snap that’s considered by the censors to be offensive, I don’t see anything that offends me. If the photo presented two males full length that were obviously aroused or if any genital skin was exposed, or if hands were fondling anything approaching anyone’s erogenous zone, I could see someone being offended. As it is, there’s nothing offensive. I’ve seen many snaps of two women kissing that much more seriously got to my sense of propriety. These men obviously deeply care for one another, know each other intimately over a long, intense time. That’s what the photographer wanted to convey. I just can’t see any more benign way to convey that intense regard. When you consider that your removal of this particular snap offends at least 10% of your followers, I think that your editorial censorship board is seriously remiss. I’d suggest that for your even handedness you need to immediately reinstate the loving kiss snap, unless you intend to remove every loving kiss from your presentation into the future… RobtheElder
RobtheElder, you are 100% correct. One of the men in the photograph is my nephew, his boyfriend is the guy with the lipstick tattoos. They have been in a committed relationship for over eight years, they live together, run a business together and have a dog. I think that their kiss is beautiful and I love them and I am very proud of them.
Probably some prudish dude at Instagram got a bit moist looking at the photo and immediately felt God’s punishment cum over him… So he deleted it. Not before screen grabbing so he can show it to all the fellows at church on Sunday.
Is it not natable that everytime a picture has been taken down, Instagram sends out an apology with the adding that the taking-down was a mistake?
And also that the action, two human beign kissing eachother on the mouth, is not taken down when it cocnerns two hetero-sexuals, i.e. a male and a female? That the taking-dwon always(!) involves tow males who kiss eachother on the mouth? Or another male-male activtity that when it is showing a male-female it is not taken down? Pure and simple, INSTAGRAM IS HOMOPHOBIC, DISCRMINATORY and HATECALLING! Instagram promotes anti-gay practices, supports homophobes and homophobism! In short, Instagram is a terrorist organisation!
Anyone who is offended over the partial image of someone’s tongue seriously is missing something in their life. Especially if they’re members on this site and see plenty more than that every day something new is posted.
It is the fact that this is not an amateur selfie of two gay guys, proclaiming their outness and love to all of their family and friends… This is a stock photo of two sex models promoted by a photographer trying to push the boundaries and get some free publicity by being lewd and disgustingly outrageous.
Picture yourself at a wedding and the bride and groom kissed like that at the altar? it would be tasteless and disrespectful.
And just because heteros post face sucking photos of themselves online does not make it any less disgusting on a family oriented site.
As I said already… get a motel and spare us the dirty details, TMI.
If you can’t tell the difference between a porn face suck and a honest kiss then you have no right judging moderators who do this for a living…
It is no wonder why us gays get accused of having an “agenda”…
oh my god! pull that stick out of your nether regions!
I’ve never heard such self-hating drivel in my life. You are so sexually repressed you should seek counseling.
It’s not a “stock photo” (you obviously don’t know what a stock photo is) and they are NOT “sex models”, they are a real life couple.
if you can’t tell the difference between a kiss and porn, then STFU and go away troll.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
Any Gay who utilizes Facebook in any way, shape or form should be ashamed to support such a homophobic entity. Facebook is building a multi million dollar facility in Alabama, a state where if putting Gays to death would pass overwhelmingly if was placed on a ballot. The state is rated worst in anti Gay measures. Why would FB and Instagram (owned by FB) continues to practice homophobia. Warwick Rowers, current thread, and countless other examples. They hate us why support them???
A better question is why so many gay men desperately need to show their sexuality? If is not running around nearly naked for “pride” it is excessive displays of affection. There are a million other ways to be proud gay man without resorting to public sex and nudity. Gay men are so much more than our sexuality. It is tiresome, unoriginal and completely lame.
Just goes to show you how shallow corporate “pride” band wagoning really is. They want people to feel like good allies for using a platform, but they don’t want to upset people who lean conservative either. Businesses who remove gay content comparable to hetero content, but still make a special pride button for June are sitting on the fence while we’re still fighting to preserve our rights against a world that wants to erase us and shove us back in the closet.
Yet, they don’t remove porn that isn’t censored that just has a filter over it. It apparently doesn’t violate their community guidelines, YET YOU CAN SEE THE PENIS GO INTO THE VAGINA. They also don’t remove bj videos because “this content doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines” yet you can see the porn. Instagram is wack.
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