Instagram Implores Users Not to Harass Other Users

Instagram’s new terms are littered with appeals to the community to keep the site as positive as possible in light of the changes.

Once a social site reaches a certain size, it seems they’re more likely to contend with adult content. Many sites have struggled in recent months to eliminate adult content from their sites, or to figure out exactly how permissive the network should be. Instagram has decided to clarify its terms of service in relation to adult content, as well as bullying and harassment.

The official community guidelines read:

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. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks.

However, pictures that include post-mastectomy scarring, breastfeeding, and nude figures in paintings and sculpture are permitted.

Still, Instagram has received criticism for deleting pictures lately. Indeed, some content has been removed for “violating the community guidelines” despite the content type not actually being mentioned in the guidelines. This change will hopefully let users know what kind of content they can post before posting it.

Instagram also made its language more overt when referring to harassment. The new terms read in part:

Serious threats of harm to public and personal safety aren’t allowed. This includes specific threats of physical harm as well as threats of theft, vandalism, and other financial harm.

Nicky Jackson Colaco, director of public policy for Instagram, told The Wall Street Journal:

In the old guidelines, we would say ‘don’t be mean’, now we’re actively saying you can’t harass people. The language is just stronger.

Policing what users post is always going to be a challenge for social networks. Several social networks have struggled to combat adult content, harassment and bullying effectively. In order to retain a user base, most sites need to have environments that aren’t outright toxic to those users.

Instagram’s new terms are littered with appeals to the community to keep the site as positive as possible in light of the changes. It’s hard to say whether the users of the site will respond to this call to action or not, but maybe less users will have a problem with the site given these clearer guidelines.

Image courtesy of tulpahn / Shutterstock.com.