What happens when you try posting a photo on Instagram with nipples visible on the image? Well, it depends whose body they actually belong to. If you’re posting those of a man’s, the you’re all clear and good to go! But if those happen to be a woman’s nipples, then you can almost be sure it would be quickly taken down. Even famous celebrities are no exception to the rule, such as Chelsea Handler, Naomi Campbell, Miley Cyrus, or Rihanna.
How come? Nobody really knew, but one thing’s certain, it has caused an uproar with a slew of Instagram users rallying around in line with the #FreeTheNipple hashtag. As the campaign went on, people have been posting images of men’s nipples Photoshopped on top of women’s breasts in trying to prove their point aimed towards equality. They simply wish for the sweetness of freedom rather than being banned and an account from possibly being suspended.
After being scrutinized for about a year now for their seemingly biased no-nipples policy, Instagram finally unraveled the mystery behind their censorship. Apparently, nipple was merely in correlation with Apple. Business Insider divulges that Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO, has disclosed the reason why they block female nipples but not the male nipples. He said that Instagram is dedicated to artistic freedom, however, he further stated that there are tough calls in order for them to scale effectively.
These tough calls pertained to meeting Apple’s standards wherein unless a particular app is restricted to adults only, it cannot contain any nudity whatsoever. Following through and maintaining strict guidelines allows them to keep Instagram open for everybody, and of course, available for Apple smartphones. All these despite the fact that one can easily find naked photos online and on other apps like Snapchat and Twitter. Photos of post-mastectomy scarring, breastfeeding women, and nudity within paintings and sculptures are totally OK, but Instagram is indeed playing it safe.
Apple has managed to keep quiet about it, declining to comment on the issue, and it looks like it’s now up to them to truly #FreeTheNipple.