Facebook and Instagram have banned sexual use of eggplant and peach emojis on their platforms under new community standards. The new community standards refer to “(commonly used) sexual emojis or emoji strings” as criteria which qualify as “Suggestive Elements”. According to adult industry news portal XBIZ, Facebook and Instagram are targeting sex workers with updated community standards.
Facebook, Instagram bans eggplant, peach emojis
“The new language, under the guise of preventing ‘sexual solicitation’, restricts even further the posts that sex workers are allowed to share, making them even more exposed to targeted harassment campaigns by anti-porn crusaders,” the report mentioned on Tuesday. Among the new things that could get someone Instagram‘s account flagged and/or removed are the eggplant or peach emoji in conjunction with any statement referring to obscene connotation.
Even pictures with digital alterations and any mention of porn being available or any linking to pages offering adult material. “Sometime between September 7 and now, the new language was quietly inserted into the Facebook Community Standards, which are the ultimate arbiter of content for Facebook and Instagram,” said XBIZ.
The new language was brought to the attention of XBIZ by BBC journalist Thomas Fabbri, who covers sex worker issues. A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement: “We often make updates to our Community Standards. We publish these changes on our Community Standards site so our community is aware. “With this update, nothing changed in terms of the policy itself or how we enforce it, we simply updated the language to make it clearer for our community.”
Adult actress Kendra James told XBIZ, she was once banned from Instagram on the grounds of solicitation. The new policy comes from Facebook amidst growing pressure from Senators and elected officials in the US. The company is being criticized for restricting conservative voices and elevating liberal voices in the community. The company has refuted these claims and it needs to be seen whether this new move gets any major backlash.
(Written with IANS inputs)