Pornhub to Instagram: If Kim Kardashian Can Post ‘Fully Exposed Ass,’ Why Can’t We?

Instagram deleted Pornhub's account almost a month ago, and Pornhub is calling hypocrisy.

Pornhub to Instagram: If Kim Kardashian Can Post ‘Fully Exposed Ass,’ Why Can’t We?
Photo:Getty (Getty Images)

“Sorry, this page isn’t available” is the message you get when you search for Pornhub’s Instagram account. It was deleted without warning or explanation about three weeks ago. Though, if you are looking for some tits and ass, which is your god-given right, just head to Kim Kardashian’s profile. On Tuesday, along with members of the adult entertainment industry and sex workers, Pornhub signed a letter to executives at Instagram’s parent company, Meta, demanding “an explanation and guidance as to why [their] accounts are continuously deleted.”

“Kim Kardashian has posted her fully exposed ass to her 330 million followers without any restrictive action from Instagram,” the letter read. “We are happy to see that Kim and the artistic team behind the image are free to share their work on the platform, but question why we are denied the same treatment.” For real! Instagram has a long history of de-platforming sex workers, from censoring hashtags like #stripper to deleting sex workers’ accounts. The letter points out that “while mainstream brands and celebrity accounts frequently feature nudity and overt sexuality without repercussions, our fully PG accounts are regularly banned without adequate explanation.”

Instagram deleted Pornhub’s account with 13.1 million followers and over 6,000 posts three weeks ago, following a growing campaign by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, is being sued for a video that was uploaded to the site containing child pornography. As a result, Visa, which was named as a defendant in the suit for profiting off said video, terminated the ability to buy Pornhub ads with their cards.

NCOSE CEO Dawn Hawkins told Variety that “Instagram is courageously choosing to stop partnering with Pornhub.” Having an account on a social media platform isn’t partnering by any means, and Dawn can create whatever hero journey she wants in her head, but that’s besides the point. Instagram and Meta made no indication that NCOSE’s campaign against Pornhub is why they deleted the adult content website’s profile. In true Instagram form, they’re remaining mum.

The app’s community guidelines state that nudity, “with some exceptions, like photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding,” is not allowed. (Dying to know what passive breastfeeding is, if anyone knows.) Sure, a platform is allowed to have its little rules, we live in a society blah blah blah. That isn’t necessarily problematic ,and I understand having to draw the line somewhere. But the issue isn’t that Instagram doesn’t allow nudity, something Pornhub is compliant in not posting. The issue is that Instagram’s guidelines around “sensitive content” have always been incredibly vague and arbitrary, allowing them to call foul at whim on a playing field only they can see the boundaries of. Not only is this fucking annoying, it’s incredibly detrimental to the livelihoods of adult content and sex workers.

As long as the platform can keep their moral guidelines murky and secretive, they can continue to edge out and harm these workers. Mounting evidence has exposed Instagram’s disdain for sex workers, but I don’t believe the NCOSE campaign is what convinced them to boot Pornhub, so much as it offered a convenient excuse to do so.

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