Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Scout Willis take note: Instagram has changed its Community Guidelines and they're basically addressing you. Yup, the photo-sharing app is attempting to put the ultimate kibosh on #FreeTheNipple by explicitly banning female nipples from the service.
"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," the new guidelines, released Thursday (April 16) read. "This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too."
We reached out an Instagram rep to ask why female nipples were specified in the guidelines. "We’re always listening to input from the people who use Instagram, and we heard that people wanted us to provide additional information about what content is or is not acceptable on Instagram," the rep replied.
For reference, the old guidelines -- archived by TechCrunch's Josh Constine -- simply read: "Please do not post nudity or mature content of any kind." That's a lot more ambiguous, right? Plus, there's no mention of any specific gender or that gender's body parts.
The battle against censorship on Instagram has been raging for a while now, with Scout Willis taking to the streets of New York City topless, sharing a photo to the service with a caption reading, "Legal in NYC but not on @instagram." Rihanna soon joined in -- having posted topless photos in the past to the service that allegedly led to her account's suspension -- tweeting "Free The Nipple."
#FreeTheNipple is a reference to a movement and film that doesn't only deal with Instagram, but what the film's director Lina Esca thinks is a serious double standard: that men can take their shirts off in public and women can't. Miley Cyrus has famously been an advocate for baring your assets for a while now, recording a song for "Free The Nipple" and posting her share of topless snaps to Instagram.
Given Instagram's new guidelines, however, it will be much harder for these women to fight for the right to let it all hang out -- at least on social media -- as they have been singled out specifically by the service as rule-breakers.
What do you think of Instagram's new community guidelines? Are they in the right -- or should they #FreeTheNipple?