Should Social Media Ban Words?

Bonjour, Blogger! Should Social Media Ban Words? image 1

Head over to Instagram, and if you click a certain hashtag, you’ll see this…

instagram-hashtag-ban

Instagram has apparently banned “curvy” as a hashtag because the tag was being used to share photos that went against the Instagram rules about nudity.

There are many other hashtags that have been banned over the years (#popular, #sexy and #photography amongst others) for reasons like the one given for #curvy, but also because they don’t add any value when you’re searching for something – think about how many things would come up if you search for #ig or #iphone!

Interestingly, search for #thin and you’ll get the following warning.

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If you click “learn more”, you’ll be taken to a page in the Instagram help section about dealing with eating disorders…well, hopefully. When we tried it on various devices, we were given a 502 error so couldn’t check out the information.

Sure, it’s not like you can’t just use another hashtag (try to avoid using all the hashtags!) but why should people need to find a more specific hashtag for something when the original one makes more sense? If Instagram were to ban any hashtag that had a large amount of nudity on, it would probably be easier to just remove the ability to use hashtags on posts, since some people will use any popular hashtag to share their nude pics.

What do you think? Should social media networks have the ability to ban hashtags that were useful by so many people and abused by a minority, or do they have a responsibility to its users?

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