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Instagram disables a mom’s account for posting this photo of a cake

It was only a cake. A simnel cake. But a photo of it posted on Instagram by Sue Moseley was enough for her to get booted off the service for apparently violating the site’s terms of use.

Yes, it’s hard to believe that a photo of a classic Easter cake can get you into so much trouble, but this is the message the British mom found when she opened the app soon after sharing the picture.

instagram account disabled

After appealing the decision, a confused Sue received the following email from Instagram:

“Your account has been disabled for not following the Instagram Community Guidelines, and we won’t be able to reactivate it. We disable accounts that post content that is sexually suggestive or contains nudity. ”

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Sexually suggestive? Nudity? Since when have cakes been wearing clothes? The message continued:

“We understand that people have different ideas about what’s okay to share on Instagram, but to keep Instagram safe, we require everyone to follow our guidelines.”

Okay, it seems Instagram’s somewhat unintelligent artificial intelligence technology mistook the cake for a breast. And Instagram doesn’t do breasts.

Sue’s daughter, Fiona, told Mashable, “My mum was really sad about it as she has lost all her Instagram photos and her account,” adding, “She’s the loveliest person and only posts photos of her family, holidays and food, and for that they’ve suspended her.”

In a bid to get the account reinstated, Fiona took to Twitter to highlight the troubling issue: “My Mum’s @instagram account was deactivated for posting this Easter Simnel cake. IT’S NOT A BOOB. #BoobGate

She’s absolutely right. This delicious-looking cake looks, if anything, more like an udder than a human breast, a fact that suggests Instagram’s boob-detecting algorithm is in need of some serious tweaking. Unless udders aren’t allowed either.

Fiona, together with her sister Jenny who baked the controversial cake, ramped up their heartfelt social media campaign, urging Instagram to take a closer look at the cake. Which definitely is not a breast. Or, to be absolutely clear, an udder.

Dear @instagram this is a cake, not a boob #censorednipples #boobgate #givemymumbackherinstagramaccount @suemoseley

A photo posted by Jenny (@jennifermoseleychef) on

And yes! The story has a happy ending. Following careful analysis of the photo by one of Instagram’s human beings, the photo-sharing service deemed it not to be a breast and therefore safe for its community, and as a result reinstated Sue’s account.

“We made a mistake here and restored the account as soon as we learned about it. Our apologies go out to Sue Moseley for the trouble we caused her,” the company said in a statement.