Whenever you have a critical mass on the internet, the sex shows up,” said Terri Senft, a professor specializing in global media at New York University’s Department of Liberal Studies.“If something bills itself as non-pornographic then becomes that way, to me it’s a sign that it’s reached the public knowledge-base, and now it’s solidly there.” “On Instagram, the community appears to be changing,” Senft added.In the past year, Instagram has grown from 10 million users to 80 million.“Instagram has moved from a niche thing to something people have heard about, and that means it has a critical mass.“In terms of why we’re seeing these [graphic images], it has a lot to do with sites like Instagram not being specific enough in their terms of service,” said Tibbals.“They are more than allowed to decide what they do or do not want on their site, but I think it’d be easier to just define the terms of service in a clear way and people will use it in a way Instagram is more comfortable with, and we’d be done with it.” A failure to crack down on the “instasex” community risks tainting Instagram’s rosy reputation and alienating users who came for tulips and landscapes, not Kik Sex and genitalia.There are 135,000 photos tagged “latte” and 201,000 tagged “Instasex.” The hashtag “wet” has nearly twice as many images.
Once its acquisition of Instagram is complete, Facebook, with its thousands of engineers and billions of dollars, will no doubt help the photo-sharing service curb the pornographic postings.
In its Instagram profile, it asks users, “please don’t flag if you don’t like.” Several Instagram accounts that regularly post suggestive photos to did not reply to requests for comment .
While the Kik user associated with the account Rate Sexy Insta Pics declined to speak about his (or her) experience with Instagram, he (or she) followed up to ask this reporter if she wanted a “shout.” What’s that?
The app, which has always allowed users to report abusive photos, recently introduced a feature allowing people to flag inappropriate comments, as well.
Chauntelle Tibbals, a visiting scholar researching the adult film industry at the University of Southern California, argued that overly broad wording in Instagram’s community guidelines leaves it vulnerable for explicit content.