Instagram is moving toward more family-friendly content with the reduction of inappropriate posts that may not necessarily violate community guidelines.
“A sexually suggestive post will still appear in Feed if you follow the account that posts it, but this type of content may not appear for the broader community in Explore or hashtag pages,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Instagram currently prohibits a list of sexual content including images of female nipples, intercourse, and genitals. However, the company allows photos of post-mastectomy scarring, women actively breastfeeding, and nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures.
The lines are a little blurred when it comes to the type of content Instagram will be policing.
Instagram said that it will limit sexually suggestive posts and other content that teeters the line of breaking its rules from being recommended on Explore and hashtag pages.
“We use a variety of signals, for example, if an account has recently gone against our Community Guidelines, to determine which posts and accounts can be recommended to the community,” Instagram’s Help Center said.
Instagram joins a list of social media platforms like Facebook and Tumblr that are cracking down on adult content. In December, Tumblr banned porn on its platform, stirring backlash from a list of its users. The platform gained popularity because of its lax rules on nudity but created a ban after the discovery of child sexual abuse.
Instagram also removes images of partially nude children for safety reasons.
“Even when this content is shared with good intentions, it could be used by others in unanticipated ways,” Instagram said in a blog post.
Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr have utilized automation to help regulate content. Tumblr experienced issues with its AI tools when it initially established its ban. Instagram and Facebook could also go through the same issues, but the companies are also leaning on user reports to identify suggestive content.
Moving toward more family-friendly content is expected to help these platforms reach more advertisers, especially as Instagram builds out more features that help consumers buy items directly through the app. More regulations may isolate some users from these platforms; however, they may prove beneficial for the companies in the long run.