instagram permanently disabled pornhub’s account

After a weeks-long suspension, Pornhub’s account has been permanently removed from Instagram.

Instagram told TechCrunch that Pornhub has repeatedly violated community guidelines, prompting the account’s removal. Meanwhile, Pornhub declared in an open letter to Meta and Instagram that Instagram’s enforcement of these platform rules are “opaque, discriminatory and hypocritical.” Addressed to four Meta executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram head Adam Mosseri, the letter was endorsed by 60 signatories from the adult entertainment industry.

Before its permanent ban, the popular porn site’s Instagram account was suspended three weeks ago. Instagram’s content guidelines prohibit nudity and sexual content, but Pornhub claims its account was “PG.”

“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,” Instagram’s Community Guidelines read. But Instagram bans the recruitment of porn actors on the platform, which might have implicated Pornhub. According to Variety, Pornhub had posted a video on Instagram encouraging people to become adult actors.

“Sex workers and performers have been unfairly targeted in the form of bans, shadow bans, suspensions, loss of Live privileges and content removal, despite taking extra care not to violate Instagram’s Community Guidelines,” the letter states. “The livelihoods of independent creators are harmed by Instagram’s reckless and discriminatory behavior.”

The letter also pointed out that high-profile Instagram users like Kim Kardashian, who has 330 million followers, has been allowed to post “her fully exposed ass” (it seems that Pornhub is referring to the mega-celebrity’s recent semi-nude Interview Magazine cover, which has over 5 million likes on Instagram).

“We are happy to see that Kim and the artistic team behind the image are free to share their work on the platform, but question why we are denied the same treatment,” the letter said.

Adult creators use platforms like Instagram to build a following and promote their work, even if the actual content they post on those accounts is not pornographic. But porn stars have been getting kicked off of Instagram for years. Instagram users who work in industries like pole dancing and stripping have also faced regulation from the platform, even when they are following the content guidelines.

Earlier this year, Hollywood-based strippers in a group called Strippers United went on strike for safer work conditions. The movement attracted tens of thousands of Instagram followers, but the account was disabled. After receiving media attention, the account was reinstated — Meta said it was “mistakenly removed.”

These discrepancies may result from AI-based moderation. But even if an account is wrongfully suspended by an algorithm, it can be a challenging and lengthy process to appeal these decisions.

Instagram told TechCrunch that all accounts are held to the same moderation standards. A spokesperson pointed out that celebrities outside of the adult space like Madonna have also opposed the platform’s content moderation decisions.

“We do not have policies that target adult creators and we would never disable an account simply because it’s run by an adult creator — we don’t categorize accounts in this way. An adult creator may have an account provided they don’t violate our policies,” a platform spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Instagram has not responded to Pornhub’s open letter.

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