The pop star had posted some shots on Instagram including one showing a nipple, and they were censored: “I’m reposting deleted photos from Instagram without warning or notification … The reason they (Instagram) gave to my managers, who don’t manage my account, is that a small part of my nipple was exposed. It’s still amazing to me that we live in a culture that allows every inch of a woman’s body to be shown except for a nipple,” wrote Madonna.
Republishing the shots, she wrote, “As if that were the only part of a woman’s anatomy that could be sexualized. The nipple that feeds the baby! Can’t a man’s nipple be experienced as erotic? !! And what about a woman’s butt that is never censored anywhere. I am grateful that I managed to keep my sanity through four decades of censorship… sexism… age and misogyny. Perfectly in sync with the lies we were brought up to believe about pilgrims peacefully breaking bread with Native American Indians when they landed at Plymouth Rock! God bless America”.
Instagram rules prohibit publishing posts with female nipples – this is how the social network maintains its 12+ rating. At the same time, the prohibition does not apply to male nipples. Artists and photographers have learned to bypass this rule and are pressuring Facebook and Instagram to lift the ban.
Instagram allows you to post bold photos, including light erotica. But any image of a woman’s nipples is blocked. At the same time, you can post scars after surgery or how a woman is breastfeeding – the social network allowed this in 2014. Instagram explains that posts like this increase user literacy. The same policy is followed by Facebook, which owns Instagram.
The hashtag #FreeTheNipple (nipple freedom) on the social network contains hundreds of photos of female nipples. Instagram tracks such posts and removes them. This is a game of cat and mouse, where Instagram always wins for a cat because it has artificial intelligence and fifteen hundred people who monitor posts.
The campaign to protect female nipples on Instagram has been supported by many celebrities, such as Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, but its artists started. The social network representatives met with them, listened carefully to their wishes, but did not want to meet them halfway.
But the ban does not apply to male nipples – therefore, users are deceiving the social network by publishing female breasts with male nipples. Instagram says there are criteria by which technology and human beings determine whether a nipple is male or female. But the social network admits that the system is imperfect: “Sometimes we cannot determine exactly whose nipple it is, and we are mistaken.”
A separate issue is the nipples of transgender people. What if a woman posts a topless photo, but she no longer considers himself a woman? What if the person was a man and had a sex change? After all, then anatomically, his nipples are male. As per the social media network, such nipples can be shown, but photos with naked nipples of transgender people will also be removed.