Mom's Innocent Photo Of Her Toddler Gets Her Instagram Account Shut Down

Lex Gabrielle 9 Sep 2019

Instagram has a lot of rules and regulations on their platform that they enforce with users to ensure they promote a safe and appropriate social experience.

Some of those rules are definitely needed.

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To prevent things like harassment and an unsafe environment, the company does a pretty good job at monitoring reports and taking action.

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Sometimes that action involves Instagram completely disabling a person's account.

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When they pose danger or post things that are inappropriate and against the law, Instagram will be quick to take the account down.

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For many parents, these rules are a good thing.

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Since it's become common practice for parents to share photos of their children online, these rules and regulations were created specifically to protect children.

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These days, it's almost become second nature for parents to post updates about their kids.

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These photos are typically of children doing regular kid things like playing or taking a bath, so parents don't even think about Instagram's posting policies when sharing them.

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One mom, however, said that Instagram made a huge mistake when removing her account.

Twitter l @babyccinokids

Parenting blogger Courtney Adamo said her Instagram account was taken down, "by mistake."

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It happened after she posted an adorable photo of her daughter.

Twitter l @babyccinokids

She figured it was an innocent picture.

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She received several emails over, "people reporting her photos as inappropriate."

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However, she never was told which photos were the ones reported and why. She wrote on her blog:

"After a bit of research, I discovered that if you receive too many reports of 'inappropriate' images, it sends a red flag to the Instagram team and their automated service will disable your account entirely, without warning and without notice."

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Eventually, she found out which photo was the one everyone had reported.

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It happened to be a photo of her toddler, Marlow.

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The photo showed her wearing a pair of yellow rain boots, lifting up her dress and looking at her belly button.

Twitter l @babyccinokids

At the time, Courtney didn't think there was anything wrong with the photo.

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Courtney thought she was just documenting another toddler milestone.


"I thought it was such a sweet photo of my baby girl and her gorgeous, round belly (and outie belly button). And I love that her pride is so evident in the photo — such a sweet and innocent shot of a successful day of potty-training," she said on her blog.

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Courtney even reviewed Instagram's guidelines to see if she had violated them, but found that she hadn't.

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The only "nudity" in the photo was her daughter's belly button.

"Unless a baby's belly is considered 'nudity'…but surely it isn't!" Courtney wrote.

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She said the photo was no different than a picture of a baby in its diaper.

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So where does Instagram draw the line when it comes to "nudity"? What about a baby in a bathing suit, Courtney wondered.

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The photo had been removed from her Instagram account completely.

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She knew that there was nothing inappropriate or wrong with the photo, so she reposted it.

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Instagram then decided to completely remove her account entirely.

For a blogger, that's the ultimate slap in the face. And, four years' worth of her photos were just completely gone.

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She then decided to reach out to the platform and get down to the bottom of it.

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After others posted her story online, the company finally realized — they made a mistake.

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Instagram issued a comment saying they were wrong.


"We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves and having policies to create and protect young children," the company said.

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The company said that the policies were there to protect children, but sometimes even they get it wrong.

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"This is one reason why our guidelines put limitations on nudity, but we recognize that we don't always get it right. In this case, we made a mistake and have since restored the account," the company said.

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And, the company restored her account as promised.

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It just goes to show you, even big companies make mistakes, but it's definitely a warning for all parents out there.

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This isn't the first time Instagram has come into conflict with parents over its policies.

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The company also deleted one mom's account in 2014 after she shared a photo of herself breastfeeding her daughter. The mom, Heather Bays, got her account back but with seven photos removed.

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Instagram said they didn't have a problem with pictures of Heather breastfeeding, but took the photos down because her daughter wasn't wearing a shirt.

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These cases probably won't be the last time Instagram and parents disagree, but it'll definitely make parents think twice before they post.

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