Instagram is rather strict on monitoring photos people post. Users of the social media app are able to report photos as inappropriate, alerting Instagram to check up on whether the reported photo lines up with their official Community Guidelines.
Blocking a mommy blogger
Mommy blogger Courtney Adamo was far from the typical Instagram user who'd get reported for inappropriate photos. Her feed didn't display exposed women's bodies or annoying spam; rather, she had a strong following of users interested in her family's day-to-day life with several young kids.
Adamo was aware of Instagram's photo guidelines and never worried she was even close to going against them. So when she discovered one evening that Instagram had completely deleted her account due to community guideline violations, she was both shocked and devastated. Adamo said in a blog post:
Instagram has deleted four years of my family photos and memories. All the photos of our travels, my children's birthdays, all my notes and comments about my children's traits and milestones, all the comments from friends and family, the messages I received when Marlow was born, the hashtags I created to help organise my photos, and all the direct messages I shared and received from my siblings and family members whom I rarely see. All of it gone. I am sick just thinking about it.
What was the photo offensive enough to take away all of this from Adamo?
The offending pic
Among the many adorable pictures Adamo posted of her children was one of her young daughter, Marlow, after a successful day of potty training.
"I thought it was such a sweet photo of my baby girl and her gorgeous, round belly (and outie belly button)," Adamo said. "And I love that her pride is so evident in the photo."
As seen, the photo shows young Marlow in her new big-girl underwear lifting her shirt up. With her sweet, round toddler belly poking out, many found it ridiculous Instagram would ban Adamo over something so innocent. But others pointed out the child was pulling her shirt just past chest level, which was most likely the reason Instagram made their decision.
Adamo, however, was in disbelief. She said she was sure she had not broken any rules.
"Unless a baby's belly is considered 'nudity'...but surely it isn't!" Adamo wrote. "She is a BABY! It is no different than a photo of a baby wearing a nappy, or a little boy in swim trunks, and to entertain the idea that it is even remotely inappropriate is a disgusting thing in itself."
Instagram makes amends
Adamo was determined to get her account back. Finding no way to contact any sort of customer support at Instagram, the mom took to social media for help.
Adamo soon had a huge following of fans backing her up and calling for her account to be reinstated. She got enough attention that Instagram responded.
A spokesman admitted they had made a mistake and Adamo's account was restored.
"We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and having policies in place to protect young children," the spokesman said. "This is one reason why our guidelines put limitations on nudity, but we recognize that we don't always get it right. In this case, we made a mistake and have since restored the account."
Right or wrong?
Many were happy for Adamo when she got her Instagram account back, but some thought she never should have posted the photo in the first place, saying it's better to never share nude or partially nude photos of children to protect them from child predators. What do you think?