Instagram has censored the hashtag #stripper and several related keywords that dancers use to find each other and organize
online. Now, sex workers are taking to social media to spread the word, decry censorship, and suggest workarounds.
Currently, when you search Instagram for #stripper or #strippers, you are given a preview of just a couple top posts in the category. But if you click through to view the entire hashtag, the following message appears:
Recent posts from #strippers are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram's community guidelines.
The same thing was reportedly happening until very recently with a handful of related hashtags, including #yesastripper, #stripperstyle, and #stripperlife--but those appear to be back in action, demonstrating how quickly the sex work community has
to adapt and change.
Instagram has yet to comment about the censorship, but is surely because of the recent US internet censorship law FOSTA. This would make Instagram responsible should any posts to #stripper be used to facilitate sex trafficking. As Instagram is
unable to vet all such postings for possible traffcking then the only practical option is to ban all posts about sex work.
1st June 2018. See article from avn.com
By Thursday morning, Instagram had apparently backed down, telling Jezebel that, the hashtag #stripper can again be used and seen by the community in the spirit in which they are intended.
Instagram sent a statement on Thursday effectively rescinding the ban:
The safety of our community is our number one priority and we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can create a safe and open environment for everyone, Instagram said in the statement. This includes constantly monitoring hashtag behavior by
using a variety of different signals, including community member reports. Access to recent posts and following hashtags are sometimes restricted based on content being posted with those hashtags. The hashtag #stripper can again be used and seen
by the community in the spirit in which they are intended.