Instagram and its parent company Facebook caught quite a bit of heat over the censorship of a new movie poster that literally features Penelope Cruz’s nipple. The poster is for a new Spanish movie directed by the famous Pedro Almodovar titled Madres Paralelas. The movie title translated to English is literally called “Parallel Mothers”. It’s set to explore precisely some of the censorship that mothers face when breastfeeding as part of its plot. Getting censored by Instagram may just be the best thing that could’ve happened to the movie for promotional purposes. However, many people were not happy with Instagram for the censorship.
Why The Picture Got Flagged
Facebook is essentially saying that the picture got directly flagged because of the system that they use to police nudity on the site. The technology that the social media network uses to detect nudity is not built to be able to recognize the context in which nudity is used. This did not stop people on social media from bringing back the #freethenipple hashtag to protest the censorship. The backlash from this certainly helped promote the movie. As well as get Instagram to respond and allow the image to be shown on the site.
Instagram, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
If you’ve ever had a picture banned by this social media network, this may spark a little feeling of revenge or envy. Because Almodovar did get a full page apology from the site for the banning. Part of the apology letter reads as follows,
“We do, however, make exceptions to allow nudity in certain circumstances, which includes when there’s clear artistic context. We’ve therefore restored posts sharing the Almodóvar movie poster to Instagram, and we’re really sorry for any confusion caused,”
A Call To Change The Censorship Rules
The designer of the poster Javier Jaen obviously was not pleased with the censorship that he received from Instagram. Although he did mention that this was something that he was expecting. As well as clarifying that he had discussed potential censorship with Almodovar before designing the poster. The director had green light the poster regardless of the “danger”. Jaen also took time to lash out at Instagram’s censorship policies, saying,
“They say their technology can’t differentiate the context. I don’t care. Change your technology then.”
Almodovar As Controversial As Ever
Many English-speaking audiences may not be too familiar with the work of famed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. He’s been in the running for best foreign film multiple times at the Oscars. Obviously, most of his work is in Spanish. As we mentioned, plenty of people who stand against the censorship rules that Facebook imposes used the opportunity to lash out again at the social media giant. Critics of Almodovar though, point out the whole move was a big attention seeking stunt. Judging from the long and winded apology that he got from Instagram, it’s safe to say the move worked!