At about 3:30 p.m. today I tried to login to the Soles of Silk Instagram account (@SolesofSilk), but was met with a login error. When I tried to reenter all the account information, I was met with an error that read, "Your account has been disabled for violating our terms. Learn how you many be able to restore your account."
When I clicked the "Learn More" link, I was taken to a page that mentioned violations of sexually explicit content. I have never published a single photo with any nudity, or sexual content. None of my captions have ever mentioned sexual acts, requests for them, or had URLs sending people to find such material. As a matter of fact, if/when someone posted something a little too "spicy" in the comments, I'd always delete them. I guess that just didn't matter to Instagram.
Some others in the foot fetish community have also lost their pages on Instagram over recent months. It looked like a blanket "no foot fetish accounts" act for a while as a bunch of people were being pulled. I always kept my fingers crossed and I seemed to be spared. As the months went on and I was still growing and growing on Instagram, I just figured I would be spared. Even some of the people who had accounts pulled told me that my site's material is so innocent, playful, and artsy that I should be fine. It really seemed like that was going to be the case until today.
Some of the content providers who have had their pages deleted have been successful creating new pages on Instagram. Others have taken the stance of "screw Instagram" and have focused on other social media platforms, most notable, Twitter. I don't know if I should bother with Instagram again if my appeal is denied. If I didn't post any sexually explicit content, what could I do differently if I made a new page? I'd hate to put the time and effort into building something back up for it all to be taken down again. For now, however, the site's Twitter page (@SolesofSilk) is where I'll be making posts and sharing photos, contest links, etc.
I have to say that I am quite frustrated by this, but am not totally surprised either. It just bothers me that some of the content I see on Instagram is so much worse and much more sexual than anything I have ever published. I'm not someone who immediately jumps to the defense of "Everyone else does it," but let's be honest here. Some of the content found on "famous" people's pages is much worse than anything you'd ever find on Soles of Silk's account. I just quickly jumped on a few "famous" peoples' pages and within a few dozen photos found things such as pole dancing, nudity that was covered in just body paint, some very revealing clothing, which also included photos taken of ass cracks and camel toes. While I don't mind those things at all, and am not calling for it to be removed from Instagram, it's just annoying that a pair of bare feet - something that you can see at any beach, or at the mall in a pair of flip flops, is considered "sexual." Those other things I mentioned, however, are just fine? I guess if I had over 40 million followers instead of just over 40,000, I might be more valuable to Instagram.
Sorry about the rant and the bad news. Hopefully my appeal is looked at by someone with an open mind. If for some reason, certain photos I have published, or hashtags I've used are ones they found to be in violation, I will happily remove those. I just can't think of anything off the top of my head that would have triggered this other than a blanket "no foot fetish" stance from the platform itself.