Instagram algorithms are tricky business. It can often seem like there’s an entire field of science behind the rules that decide which posts end up at the top of a feed and which ones get scattered at the bottom. It can be even more frustrating when Instagram deletes photos that don’t deserve to be deleted, which is exactly what’s happening to a group of moms simply posting pictures of their kids.
Instagram keeps deleting parents’ pictures of their shirtless sons because they have long hair.
Several moms have reported that Instagram keeps deleting their photos of their sons. The thing that all the photos have in common is that in them, the boys have long hair and they’re topless. Tori Spooner is one of those moms, who first noticed the issue when Facebook (which is the parent company of Instagram) flagged a photo of her 4-year-old son Parker a year and a half ago.
“They sent it and said it was sexual and we weren’t allowed to have it. It was pretty much just a warning,” she told Buzzfeed. “Then the second time it happened on Facebook, it banned me for a couple of days.”
Then, Spooner began to get banned from Instagram until her account was deleted altogether.
“They said my account was taken down because too many of the photos were flagged on Instagram,” she said.
Spooner made a new Instagram account and has been posting photos of Parker to call attention to Instagram’s algorithm issue.
Instagram uses computer programs to suss out material that may be deemed inappropriate. The app forbids photos of unclothed children above toddler age and photos of female nipples. It’s likely that the computer algorithms have confused the topless photos of long-haired boys with photos that are actually inappropriate.
After Spooner posted about her photos and accounts getting deleted, other parents shared that they’d been having the same issue.
Some other parents also posted photos of their long-haired sons asking Instagram not to delete their photos.
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Long-haired boys on Instagram might not seem like the most life-changing of causes to get behind. But, if these parents want to conquer the Instagram algorithm once and for all, more power to them.
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