Instagram blocks searches for 'curvy'

Word was being used to ‘share content that violates our guidelines around nudity’, according to a spokesperson — but other offensive words remain

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The Independent Tech

Instagram has blocked the word “curvy” — banning it for fear that it was being used to share unsanctioned nude pictures.

Now, users can’t search for the word at all, and are shown an error message if they try — though a number of offensive related terms seem to be fine.

"I can confirm that we did block the hashtag #curvy. It was being used to share content that violates our guidelines around nudity," an Instagram spokesperson told BuzzFeed, which first reported the ban. "Please note that the block has nothing to do with the term 'curvy' itself."

But as the site points out, a number of searches that would presumably only really be used for nudity are still searchable, such as #vaginas or #clitoris. And a number of other more offensive terms used for bigger people are still fine to search, such as “fatf**k” and “lardass”.

The site does censor results for other body-related words, though. Searches for terms like “skinny” and “thin” bring up messages about eating disorders.

Instagram blocks a range of words that might be used to share content that violates the site’s terms of service. Some of those lead to unusual words — like the blocking of the eggplant emoji in April, which the site feared would be used to share pictures of peoples’ penises.

The words — and emoji — themselves are still fine to use to tag pictures. But they can’t be searched for and so the results won’t bring new people to the photos.

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