Pornhub Accuses Meta of ‘Discriminatory and Hypocritical’ Restrictions on Instagram

Adult-content site Pornhub is accusing Meta of using “opague, discriminatory and hypocritical enforcement of its own terms and policies” in shutting down its official Instagram account and banning or removing or banning “safe for work” contents, while allowing celebrities to post much racier images to their grid and stories.

“We demand fair treatment on Instagram for adult performers, sex workers and any compliant adult business, including Pornhub,” the world’s largest porn site said in an open letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, chief legal officer Jennifer Newstead and global affairs president Nick Clegg.

“Sex workers and performers have been unfairly targeted in the form of bans, shadow bans, suspensions, loss of Live privileges and content removal, despite taking extra care not to violate Instagram’s Community Guidelines,” said the letter, which was endorsed by the Free Speech Coalition, the Adult Performance Artists Guild and a list of more than 60 adult performers.

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Pornhub’s official account was permanently removed from Instagram Wednesday after a weeks-long suspension. Instagram argued that Pornhub had “repeatedly violated community guidelines,” TechCrunch reported.

Instagram’s terms state: “Branded content must not promote the sale or use of adult products or services, except for posts for family planning and contraception.”

Pornhub’s letter accuses Meta and Instagram of applying different rules to adult content and celebrities.

“While mainstream brands and celebrity accounts frequently feature nudity and overt sexuality with no repercussions, our fully PG accounts are regularly banned without adequate explanation,” the letter states. “Pornhub’s safe-for-work account has been disabled for three weeks. In the interim, Kim Kardashian has posted her fully exposed a– to her 330 million followers without any restrictive action from Instagram.

“We are happy to see that Kim and the artistic team behind the image are free to share their work on the platform, but question why we are denied the same treatment,” the letter continues. “While Kim’s photo continues accumulating likes and making headlines, members of the adult community run the risk of deplatforming if Instagram decides our pants look a bit too tight to meet its arbitrary and selectively-enforced ‘standards.'”

The letter demands an explanation and guidance as to why its accounts have been deleted, and the content it posts is removed, even when it does not breach Instagram’s rules.

Pornhub’s account had 13.1 million followers and more than 6,200 posts before it was shut down.

The criticism comes after years of battle between Instragram and adult content creators. These performers frequently use social media to promote their work despite needing to adhere to “safe for work” guidelines.

“The platform, despite its careless treatment of an already marginalized group, is a vital marketing tool for those in the adult industry,” the letter states of Instagram. “Denying us an ability to promote our brands and grow our businesses while continuously erasing, silencing and censoring the presence of sex workers and adult brands is violent and profoundly damaging. Combined with the regular financial discrimination those in the adult industry face, it is dangerous and threatening to our livelihoods.”

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