Instagram has apologised for taking down a snap of two men kissing, after the platform claimed the image “violated community guidelines.”
The photo, posted to photographer Stella Asia Consinni’s account, featured Jordan Bowen and Luca Luficer smooching for the camera.
A spokesperson for mobile app claims the image was removed by mistake, saying: “This post was removed in error and we are sorry. It has since been reinstated.”
As well as posted to Consinni’s Instagram account, the image was also published in i-D Magazine as part of a series exploring modern relationships. The London-based photographer hopes to exhibit them later this year.
Despite Instagram’s claims it was an error, the photograph was only returned to the platform after well-known fashion icons and LGBT activists bought attention to its removal.
Olly Alexander, lead singer of Years and Years and a well-known advocate of LGBT rights, along with Jade Thirlwall from Little Mix, posted on Instagram asking for justification. And users were thrilled to see the image reinstated, with one commenting: “It should never have been taken down in the first place.”
*VIOLATES COMMUNITY GUIDELINES* My relationship of seven years with @iamlucalucifer reduced to a Community Guideline. Earlier this was removed from @stellaasiaconsonni and flagged as inappropriate. @instagram spoon feeds us with rainbows and hashtags to appear in solidarity but it seems real people in love have no place here. this is discriminatory and archaic and violates our right as a couple. Please help us share and put this right. Oh and #happypride everyone. xxx jb @jordanluca_official #pride ?
Bowen also reacted to the image’s removal, saying it condensed his “reduced his seven-year relationship with Luca to a community guideline.”
This isn’t the first time Instagram has been criticised for taking down LGBT content. In January, the site was admonished for removing a post featuring Zoe Leonard’s 1992 poem “I want a dyke for president.” Instagram claimed this was also a mistake, but in 2016 they also censored images under hashtags such as #lesbian, #gay, and #bi. The image sharing site has also recently been accused of fat-shaming, after a plus-size model claimed the social network shadowbanned because of her curves.