Instagram deletes photographer Dragana Jurisic’s account and Facebook censors her work

The Art Newspaper | José Da Silva

The Dublin-based photographer Dragana Jurisic has had her Instagram account shut down and her images removed from Facebook after she posted one of her works on the social media platforms. The photograph shows a naked model whose breasts have been “self-censored with a leaf” for the purpose of going online, Jurisic says. The image was posted last week and “was online for about 24 hours and liked more than 500 times” before the account was “deleted without any prior warning”, Jurisic says. As she had “not posted anything on Instagram that would be inappropriate according to their policies”, the photographer at first thought her account had been hacked and contacted Instagram to let them know. She received an email response telling her that the account had been “disabled for not following Terms of Use”. Jurisic asked for the specific reasons but got no reply.

When the photographer posted the same image on Facebook, which owns Instagram, she was “blocked from posting and commenting”. Furthermore, “posts my friends shared on Facebook have been taken down en masse without explanation”, she says. This is the latest in a number of instances of social media platforms censoring works of art, with even a 30,000 year-old Stone Age statue coming under scrutiny for being “pornographic” and was removed from Facebook. Jurisic says she used Instagram as “a sort of a digital archive of my work” and although she has back-ups of the images she has lost “dates, times, notes, comments and discussions that developed around many of my posts”. When she contacted Teru Kuwayama, a photo community manager at Instagram and Facebook—who Jurisic says was “helpful”—he told her that the “account was removed for repeated nudity” and that when he had asked for the return of the “seven years of data”, the company refused. Instagram did not immediately respond to a comment request at the time of publication…read more

Image: Dragana Jurisic