’@big_tits_n_asses’ can stay, but ‘Your Post Goes Against Our Community Guidelines’: Instagram’s conflation of love and sex in the censored posts of othered digital users

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Short Abstract

Instagram users assert that there is inequality in the censorship of images that depict certain bodies, groups and sexualised content. This paper asks how inequitable censorship alters understandings of appropriate forms of desire and love, through the visibility of certain bodies and relationships

Long Abstract

‘Instagram is silencing queer voices!’ This message often appears in response to news that Instagram has removed a recent post from one of my interlocutors. As a digital anthropologist who has conducted fieldwork with men who use Instagram such criticisms are not uncommon. The sharing of digital images has become an intimate practice in its own right, with hook-up-apps encouraging the sharing of explicit or revealing self-portraits to such an extent that they have become both normative and enshrined within the vernacular of these closed digital spaces. Instagram however, is an open digital space where anyone can access the images posted, drawing into question how bodies presented in such a space should be policed. This panel has assembled to question how post-love relationalities function, and this paper will add to this discussion through an analysis of the digital landscape in which love is idealised, bodies are coveted and relationships are formed. Instagram has received much media attention for the type of content that it allows to be posted to its platform. This paper will consider this as well as content which is prohibited to analyse the manner in which certain types of sexualised digital body are deemed offensive and inappropriate, and the impact on those who desire or love this kind of body. This will be used to assess how understandings of sex as an expression of love are changing in an increasingly digitised world where sexualised digital bodies presented on Instagram change understandings of desire, ownership and love.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020
Event16th EASA Conference: New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe - online event, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 20 Jul 202024 Jul 2020
Conference number: 16
https://easaonline.org/conferences/easa2020/

Conference

Conference16th EASA Conference
Abbreviated titleEASA 2020
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period20/07/2024/07/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Social Media
  • Instagram
  • Social Anthropology
  • Digital Anthropology
  • Ethnography
  • Self Making
  • Identity
  • censorship
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Gender Studies

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