Instagram relaxes terms on censored hashtags, but its criteria remains confusing

instagram relaxes terms censored hashtags criteria remains confusing k bigpic

This summer it was revealed that even though you might participate in #sexualwednesday every week on Instagram, the platform was actually blocking those hashtags. Those – and many more.

There were a lot of questions raised once the full list got out; why was Instagram making #foodorgasm and #bitchdontkillmyvibes unsearchable, but #junkiesofIG and #uglyslutsaturday were still OK? The discrepency between blocked and unblocked was confusing and made little to no sense.

But as it turns out, the same social data team that released the list went digging again and found out that Instagram has relaxed its terms considerably. Here’s the new full list of what’s allowed and what still isn’t:

ig list hashtag

The Data Pack says that the first go-around, Instagram was omitting hashtags that had certain words (which appeared to be explicit or sexual language, as well as phrases of the four letter variety) instead of looking at the hashtag in its entirety. That’s why #junkiesofIG slipped past; separately, those words are rather harmless (sure, junkie has a known connotation, but it’s not as blatant as “orgasm” or “sex,” which pretty much only mean what they mean).

According to the new lists, the content that remains unsearchable errs to the sexual or pornographic side – though the censorship of #loseweight certainly suggests Instagram is trying to keep thinspiration content out of the platform. #Pronorexia and #probulimia are also blocked, but again, these are very blatant, where as #loseweight could (maybe) be interpreted otherwise. But there’s no place for any suggestion of this sort on Instagram, so it’s been blocked.

But there are still some confusing choices here:

  • #birthdaysex is OK but #instabody is not
  • #boobz is OK but #boobs is not
  • #fuckinsong is OK but #instasex is not 
  • #thinspo is OK but #thinspiration is not 
  • #getnakedpls is OK but #strip is not
  • #mouthtopenis is OK but #shirtless is not

Incongruities aside, the relaxed terms for searchable hashtags comes just as Instagram is officially running ads in the feed. Just a coincidence, or does the timing suggest some brands out there want to make use of the formerly censored #boobimplants hashtag? Probably not, says The Data Tank founder Nick Drewe, who calls it “more of a response” to how confused we all were when the former list was released. “It’s clear they were a bit over-cautious with the first list.” 

He also points out that it’s clear Instagram is trying to keep illicit content off the platform and protect users – though there is a fine line for the network to walk between protecting and censoring. And of course, much confusion over why certain hashtags are banned and others aren’t (see above) remain. 

Home Theater

I’ve seen the 8K TV future, and you should be excited. Here’s why

Samsung set the tech world on fire when it announced it would sell an 85-inch 8K TV in the U.S. along with several 8K screen sizes in Europe. Debates over the validity and value of such a high resolution have continued since, and we're here…
Social Media

Grow your Twitter audience overnight with these simple tips and tricks

Using Twitter can be intimidating, but these tips will help you feel less inadequate when you look at your follower count. As long as you use a bit of moderation, you'll soon be one step closer to social media fame.
Social Media

Over selfies and an onslaught of ads? Here's how delete your Instagram account

Despite its outstanding popularity and photo-sharing dominance, Instagram isn't for everyone. Thankfully, deleting your account is as easy as logging into the site and clicking a few buttons. Here's what you need to do.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in October, from 'Mindhunter’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.
Social Media

Instagram is testing a new way for you to look through your feed

Instagram is constantly tweaking its app to help give its users the best experience possible, so how do you like the sound of tapping — instead of swiping — to look through your feed?
Computing

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Social Media

Like a pocketable personal stylist, Pinterest overhauls shopping tools

Pinterest shopping just got a bit better with a trio of updates now rolling out to Pinterest. The first replaces Buyable Pins with Product Pins for more features, including knowing whether or not a product is in stock.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.
Social Media

Twitter has sorted out those weird notifications it was sending

Twitter started churning out weird notifications of seemingly nonsensical letters and numbers to many of its users on Tuesday morning. The bizarre incident even prompted Twitter boss Jack Dorsey to get involved.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Home Theater

Facebook might be planning a streaming box for your TV that watches you back

Facebook is reportedly working on a piece of streaming media hardware for your living room with a built-in camera for video calls, something people may not want given the company's recent controversies.