Pro-LGBTI group Warwick Rowers was banned from Instagram for apparently flouting its nudity policies.
The rowers from the British university have posed naked every year to fundraise fighting against homophobia in sport.
Lucas Etienne, the campaign’s social media coordinator, posted previously published image alongside a direct challenge to Instagram.
Warwick Rowers banned from Instagram
‘These were images that had already been published on our Instagram account without a problem.
‘They were all images from our print calendars, so had been reviewed for conformity with our own strict rules on implied nudity, as well as social media standards.’
But then the images were reported and deleted.
The account has now been suspended.
On Twitter, the Warwick Rowers said: ‘As you may have noticed, our Instagram account has been permanently deactivated without any reason communicated to us.
‘We’re hoping this is a mistake and are waiting for them to allow us back on the platform to keep spreading our message.’
Instagram bans nudity, with some exceptions
Instagram’s policy states: ‘We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram.
‘This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks.
‘It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.’
While the Warwick Rowers do not show sex or genitals, they do show bums and pubic hair.
Project founder Angus Malcolm said: ‘We have a policy of requiring models to have fairly natural pubic hair on the grounds that shaved crotches reflect an unrealistic and hyper-sexualised aesthetic that promotes unhealthy relationships with our natural bodies.
‘But whatever your position on this, the clue is in the name. Pubic hair is not part of the genitals. It’s hair.’
Russia banned Warwick Rowers for ‘gay propaganda’
Russia previously banned the Warwick Rowers naked calendar for being ‘gay propaganda’.
Malcolm said: ‘The fact Russian customs rejected our calendar is nothing compared to the suffering some LGBT+ people face every day, but it acts as a signifier of the wider problem.
‘If they can’t cope with a few naked bums, then frankly that’s quite sad.’
He added: ‘With the rise of Putin’s brand of populism around the world, we have never needed straight allies like the Warwick Rowers more than we do now.’
The calendars reportedly raises a six figure sum every year for Sport Allies.
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