Los Angeles – On October 29, International Internet Day 2019, a joint coalition of activists from around the world will protest censorship on social media platforms under the hashtag banner EveryBodyVisible. #EveryBODYVisible is an online campaign specifically highlighting Instagram’s censorship of women, the LGTBQ+ community, People of Color, pole dancers, sex workers, photographers, models, artists, feminists, yogis, fitness athletes and other marginalized interest groups. Instagram, a top photo and video-sharing social networking service, is owned by Facebook, Inc.
The community alleges that social networking companies are using their immense platform power to censor and discriminate against its most vulnerable users. The #EveryBODYVisible community is advocating for more clarity and transparency from social media giants, and for a conversation to be had between different stakeholders in the social media moderation process. Varied Instagram user stories of discrimination, compiled by #EveryBODYVisible, can be viewed at www.EveryBODYVisible.com/
The team is encouraging everyone who has experienced unfair artistic censorship, to join the campaign with three simple steps on October 29, outlined at https://everybodyvisible.com/
AM Davies, CEO and founder of United Pole Artists and the creative force behind the #EveryBODYVisible website states, “Fighting Instagram censorship is not about getting views on a post. It is about being seen in the world at large! Every body deserves to be seen, heard and made to feel visible. International Internet Day is the ideal date to draw attention to what feels like an Orwellian prediction of omnipotent figures wielding oppressive control over the masses.”
The EveryBODYvisible campaign started after over 18,000 pole dancers and their supporters petitioned Instagram via Change.org in July 2019 to stop blocking and banning thousands of pole dance hashtags and accounts, arguing that they were not in breach of Instagram community guidelines. A Facebook/Instagram spokesperson publicly apologized and some of the blocked tags were restored.
But the deleting of accounts, and restrictions on tagging and visibility continued. Pole dance and fitness fans realized that they were not the only community being targeted. Evidence of discrimination was everywhere, including among women promoting self-expression, trans people, LGBTQIA folk, yogis, artists, photographers, the BBW community, feminists, disability activists, body-positive, sex and birth educators, and fitness professionals, all who were experiencing similar issues. The #EveryBODYVisible team was formed with the realization that this was a larger scale human issue!