OOn Thursday evening, the verified Instagram account of Kendra Sunderland, a popular pornstar with 2.2 million followers, was brutally deleted. the Why of it all is a bit of a hassle and involves a flurry of X-rated content, whimsical claims, and liquid courage.
The drama apparently began a few weeks ago, when Sunderland, a 25-year-old adult artist who burst onto the scene after filming herself publicly masturbating in the Oregon State University library, posted a topless photo of herself on Instagram. In the comments section, she alleged that she was able to do so – in violation of the social media site’s draconian rules regarding nudity – because she was “blowing up” the “Instagram CEO,” who is be Adam Mosseri (married, three sons). Despite their contempt for their policy, his story has remained intact. Then on Wednesday night, Sunderland posted a live Instagram video of herself topless, sucking a dildo, followed by a familiar rationale.
“Hi guys! I just want you to know that I haven’t been deleted yet.” offered Sunderland. “I’m crazy about batshit. I might be sucking the Instagram CEO off. But anyway, I’m here to stay!
Sunderland’s claim immediately raised eyebrows, as it wasn’t the first time she had done so, and she appeared to be receiving some degree of preferential treatment on the platform, given the two rather public examples of violation of the rules and the fact that her Instagram profile photo was a picture of herself topless. When users tried to report the topless image, they were told it was not in violation of Instagram’s guidelines.
When asked about her account, a representative for Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, provided The Daily Beast with the following statement: “Over a billion people use Instagram and that sometimes means we make mistakes. This account violated our policies and we have now deleted it. This person has no connection with the management of our company and claims that he received preferential treatment is without merit. “
Sunderland, when contacted by phone, said it was all a big misunderstanding, and that she was just drunk on a few white claws and joking – although she is not sure if the big stories of ‘an affair were the reason she was kicked from Instagram, or the risky content she was posting.
“I don’t really know if that’s why. I was also going crazy on Live yesterday doing things I know I shouldn’t have, and I was just drunk and I didn’t care. I guess that’s why. I’d be surprised if the other reason was why, because I said it in such a pleasant way, ”she explains. “I never really knew who the CEO of Instagram was, or anything. I have never met this person before in my life.
Like many in the adult industry (and beyond), Sunderland believes that Instagram’s tough stance against the display of female breasts represents a sexist double standard – but she also admits that she may have pushed them. things a little too far this time.
“I think sticking out my boobs shouldn’t have been a problem because guys can be shirtless on Instagram Live, and there shouldn’t be a difference,” she says. “But as for pushing a black dildo down my throat and pouring a white claw on it, may be it was too far. I’m sorry, Instagram! “
“But as far as pushing a black dildo down my throat and pouring a white claw on it, maybe that was too far. I’m sorry, Instagram!“
The Sunderland controversy raises broader questions about Instagram’s overall treatment of adult artists. About two years ago, Alana Evans, an adult artist and head of the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG), a union representing actors in the porn world, flanked by her lawyer and other artists, met with leaders from Instagram in their Menlo office. Park, California. During the reunion, Evans and the other adult actors slammed Instagram for shutting down a number of pornstar accounts without any explanation of the rules – if any – they broke.
“We are negotiating with the Instagram legal team. Our lawyer meets with them every week, ”says Evans. “We currently have three active cases that are about to take the next step, and with Instagram, our lawyer said, ‘We have 300 more. We can go to court and cost you a million dollars. But Instagram said, ‘No, no, no, let’s wait until January and meet then.’ “
This lawyer is Jim Felton, the Managing Partner of G&D Law and the lawyer representing APAG since its inception. As Felton recounts, that reunion of two years ago led to the relocation of several Instagram accounts of adult artists and started “a nice dialogue.” But this unfortunately did not last.
“These were short-lived gains, and we ended up going back to closing accounts, in many cases for reasons the artists didn’t understand or didn’t know,” says Felton. “In many cases, many girls’ accounts are suspended without notice. They just left. It would be one thing if a post was flagged as breaking the rules, but in many cases this does not happen. The accounts are just gone. We therefore collect a number of examples. “
After asking Facebook about the meetings with APAG and their alleged discriminatory practices against porn performers, a company representative provided me with a series of points:
- Adult performers and sex workers are subject to the same policies as everyone else on Instagram. We do not deactivate or act on accounts simply because they are managed by adult performers or sex workers.
- Specifically, we allow sexually positive content and discussion, but we do not allow content that facilitates, encourages, or coordinates sexual encounters between adults. We’re also removing content that contains uncovered female nipples, among others – more info here.
- We have met with APAG and have discussed with them on numerous occasions our policies and our application to ensure that the voices of adult performers and sex workers are heard. As a result of these conversations, we’ve made changes to minimize the number of accounts that have been mistakenly deleted under our sexual solicitation policies. We also reviewed hundreds of accounts that were sent to us by APAG at different times and restored accounts deleted in error.
Evans and Felton, however, believe there is a lot more work to be done regarding Instagram’s treatment of artists in the adult industry.
“We began an arbitration process with them about two months ago for a particular artist, and we are preparing to submit a number of additional dispute notices,” Felton says. “We had talks with their lawyer to try to organize some sort of meeting to see if we can better understand why there is such disparate treatment between verified artists or celebrities compared to pornographic artists, some of whom have quite a bit of history. ‘subscribers – but not as many as the Kardashians or other celebrities who are allowed to undress.
As for Sunderland, she tells me that when she tried to appeal Instagram’s decision to fire her, she encountered the spinning wheel of death.
“I went to appeal and you have to do this video of looking at you in all directions so they can scan your face,” says Sunderland. “I went to submit it, and the load button on the submission goes on forever and ever. I don’t know how long it will last.
She pauses. “Either way, I’ll be fine. It is neither life nor death.
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