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Facebook and Instagram Are Censoring ‘Horny’ Emojis

Shirtless man texting on his phone.

Also you aren’t allowed to link to your OnlyFans or JustForFans pages.

MikelleStreet

Censorship is as real on the internet as it is pervasive. And now Facebook and Instagram have added to their already extensive guidelines cracking down on sexual expression. .

As reported by the adult industry news website XBIZ, the platforms updated their Community Standards this past summer. The update was apparently rolled out in July with an amendment in August, but some updates still weren't reflected on the page as of September 2019.

According to these new rules, eggplant or peach emojis cannot be used with sexual statements about being horny. In addition, users cannot post photos that use emojis to censor nudity and cannot refer followers to pages where porn is viewable -- yes, this latter rule means that linking to an OnlyFans or JustForFans page in your bio is grounds for removal.

As noted last year, posts also can't include mentions or depictions of "sexual roles, sex positions, fetish scenarios, [or] state of arousal," among other conditions.

When asked about this update, a spokesperson for Facebook (which owns Instagram) told XBIZ that "nothing [has] changed in terms of the policy itself or how we enforce it, we simply updated the language to make it clearer for our community."

"We often make updates to our Community Standards," the company said. "We publish these changes on our Community Standards site so our community is aware."

The explanation, while frustrating, certainly tracks. For months, users that have used Instagram as a way to link followers to their OnlyFans and JustForFans sites have been banned from Instagram without warning, without ever posting any explicit material. These "new" guidelines only confirm what some had already suspected was the case.

Increasingly it seems that the only public, massively used platform that is available for promotion to those who post content related to sexuality is Twitter.

RELATED | Facebook's New Censorship Policy Reveals a "Sex Panic" on the Platform

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Mikelle Street

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.