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Instagram Community Guidelines: What Are They?

Instagram Community Guidelines Explained

Instagram has more than 1 billion users currently, which means that it needs to be taken seriously. It needs rules in place, so that everybody is happy. These are Instagram’s guidelines for the community. However, at the end of the day, they are a little more than just guidelines and if you violate any of them, then you could get your profile deleted permanently.

Instagram was first developed to be a place for creative people to share insights of their life and images. Originally designed for visual arts and photography, Instagram has veered away from this slightly. Now, it is one of the most well-known social sharing apps, which means that sometimes it can include the wrong content.

At the end of the day, Instagram wants to ensure that their guidelines for the community help protect their users, so that the space can be an authentic place where people are treated respectfully.  

What are the Community Guidelines for Instagram?

Instagram caters to a huge range of different demographics on its platform, but this can only continue to do well if people keep everything respectful. Instagram’s community guidelines encourage kindness and respect. When you first make an Instagram profile, you will be asked to sign the terms of use, which involve the guidelines we will talk about below.

If you violate any of them, Instagram reserves the right to disable your profile, or delete it completely. Let’s dive into Instagram’s community guidelines.

Share Only Your Images

Share Images

The first guideline for the Instagram community is to only post your videos and images, or videos and images that you have permission to post. This means that either you upload images that you have taken personally, or you are granted permission from someone else to share their posts.

One approach is to buy an image. You can buy a photo from a website, a virtual source, or someone directly. An alternative way to be granted permission to upload an image or a video is to ask.

Maybe you are a small brand, and you are wanting to share a photo that a customer has taken of something that you’re selling. This is usually a pretty straightforward thing to do, because it just involves direct messaging the person, and asking them if they feel comfortable with you sharing their content.

If you think that somebody is sharing your content and hasn’t asked you for permission, Instagram takes this very seriously. You can complete the form here to report what is happening, but just remember that there are different copyright regulations around the world.

Consider the Diversity of the Audience

child

The next community guideline for Instagram is to be aware that your content needs to be appropriate for a wide range of demographics. Instagram says that they appreciate that nudity in content is creative expression. However, for a lot of different reasons, Instagram doesn’t permit nudity.

One of the biggest reasons for this is how old you can be to have an Instagram account. The fact is that you need to be 13 and older to create an Instagram profile, and we can all agree that nudity isn’t appropriate for children and adolescents.

Instagram also says that they are a neutral and clean app that is safe for both kids and adults alike. Images of breastfeeding and mastectomy scars are permitted. You are also permitted to include nudity in sculptures and paintings.

When it comes to children, it is OK to put up images of your children on Instagram. However, Instagram might remove an image if it includes nudity. This is because some people that potentially use the space that could use this content inappropriately.

Be Genuine and Well-Meaning

It is essential to maintain a space that encourages genuine and authentic interactions when it comes to Instagram. This is why it is important for you to be a team player, and limit spam. This means avoiding bots that are going to automatically interact with your content.

The issue with spam is that it is an ongoing problem, and every so often Instagram does a blitz to make sure that everyone is following its community guidelines. Instagram doesn’t need you to only use your true name for your account, but they do recommend that their users to provide up-to-date and accurate information.

It is therefore against community guidelines to pretend to be someone else and create an account with the purpose of bullying or creating spam.

Abide by the Law

Law

Instagram says that “Instagram is not a place to support or praise terrorism, organized crime or hate groups. Offering sexual services, buying or selling firearms, alcohol, and tobacco products between private individuals, and buying or selling illegal or prescription drugs (even if legal in your region) is also not allowed.

Instagram also prohibits the sale of live animals between private individuals, though brick-and-mortar stores may offer these sales. No one may coordinate poaching or selling of endangered species or their parts.”

So, this is pretty obvious, but you will be surprised how many people violate these clear guidelines. As a result, Instagram isn’t afraid to take somebody to court if anyone disobeys the law.

You need to also make sure that you are following the law when it comes to buying or selling a product or service. If you want to market things like online gambling, you will need to get the permission of Instagram itself first.

Instagram, in addition, has a no tolerance for sharing explicit content that is associated with underage individuals, or people who threaten to upload intimate content of other people.

Respect Everyone Else

Instagram says that as well as being kind, they also need their users to be respectful. Instagram will get rid of any images or videos that include harassment, blackmail, threats, and hate speech.

Interestingly, though, Instagram does allow for the most part stronger voices about politicians, celebrities, and influencers, as they believe that it is up to the individual whether they want to be in the public eye or not. Instagram has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying related to demographics like race, ethnicity, and disability, among others.

Don’t Glorify Self-Harm

Instagram got in trouble last year with their loose guidelines around people who could easily gain access to profiles and content that glorified things like self-harm. Now, they have made it against their current guidelines.

Instagram appreciates that its app is a place where people can find connection during tough times. Of course, it is OK to talk about your experience with self-harm, as long as you are not glorifying it.

Be Sensitive When Sharing News Content

Sharing News Content

When there is a newsworthy story, social platforms pick up on it really quickly. Of course, this is essential for bringing awareness to the issue, but it is also vital to remember that there are younger people using Instagram as well.

Instagram says, “We understand that people often share this kind of content to condemn, raise awareness or educate. If you do share content for these reasons, we encourage you to caption your photo with a warning about graphic violence. Sharing graphic images for sadistic pleasure or to glorify violence is never allowed.”

Final Thoughts

From where we’re sitting, Instagram’s guidelines are clear, and it shouldn’t be too hard to stick to them. As long as you abide by the law, don’t forget that there is an age limit on Instagram, and make sure that you stay respectful to others. If you comply, you should be absolutely fine.

If you see that somebody else is violating these community guidelines, you can report the profile, or get in touch with them directly about it. Remember, Instagram is a place to have fun and get creative, so let’s keep it this way.