Men’s Underwear and Swimwear on Social Media: Censored
Have you had a post taken down or flagged? Or maybe your whole account was suspended by a social media giant? Well, I’ve come across several that have recently on different social media platforms. I haven’t had an issue with being suspended. I’ve had posts flagged on Tumblr when they changed up their policies, but all my challenges were approved. Many have moved away from that platform. The social media ones I’ve seen causing people issues are Instagram, Facebook (who owns Instagram), and YouTube.
Now I can see things flag for porn and things along those lines. What we are talking about are underwear and swimwear photos. Some are even fairly conservative styles. Many cover a lot more than many photos I’ve seen of women posing in their swimwear and underwear. So why are they targeting men’s photos? Is it just their algorithms or other users reporting the content? Potentially a bit of both. That bulge under the fabric is really enough for a computer to flag the post and an account. While not much covering a woman’s area doesn’t trip it up? A woman’s butt looks different than a man’s butt to a computer algorithm?
Then when you challenge the flag or suspension why can’t a human being review it and get back to you in a decent amount of time. Though you may be lucky if you even get a response unless you have a good amount of followers. Luckily I haven’t had to deal with issues like others have with their social media accounts. Here’s some that have had to deal with it or even just throw in the towel and move elsewhere or start a new account.
First up there is Chithonger who has done some pieces with me. His issue is with Instagram. He has already had two accounts suspended and is on his third. He’s trying a new tactic with his third with making his first image just a picture of the pair. Then the other photos are of him wearing the pair, so you have to do an action to get to the next photos. Now his photos are skimpier styles than the other two instances I’ll be touching on. I did review Instagram’s policies and his posts have not broken any of them. Plus there are women out there posting similar content, which I’m not aware of them getting suspended. Chithonger hasn’t heard back about either of his suspended accounts and they no longer exist. He continues to open new accounts, which he has also made the accounts private. Seems it is a computer probably flagging him. Was getting this post ready today and now his Twitter account is suspended! His content is even set to sensitive and I’ve had full out nudity and more show up in my feed that wasn’t set to that, which I did not want to see. They did say it was his cover image and/or profile picture. Now both of those he has had for at least a year, so why all of a sudden they change their mind on them. Why can’t they just ask you to change them and give you a set period before suspending your account. It was a real surprise for me to see his account suspended on Twitter.
Next up we have Carl Wesley, who had his Instagram and YouTube accounts suspended. If you check out his offerings, you notice his offering is pretty tame. His smallest style is a thong that is a pretty traditional cut. Well, his Instagram suspension came with a photo of a customer in a black brief. It was a close up of just the brief and there wasn’t anything provocative about it. Though the reason for the ban was due to nudity and sexual content. The same photo got his Facebook page banned too. It did get restored after contesting it. With Instagram being part of Facebook you’d think they would review Instagram the same way. They didn’t respond back to his requests about it either and he spent quite a bit on advertising with them especially for a small business. You can read the post he wrote about getting banned on Instagram here.
His YouTube channel got removed also for violating their policy on nudity and sexual content. YouTube thinks men modeling underwear is sexual content. He’s posted many of the videos on Twitter and they’re just guys wearing the pairs and rotating to show all angles. Again nothing out of the ordinary for what you’d see other places. See below his frustration tweet.
Convince me that I should stay in business. Fighting big tech is draining my soul. pic.twitter.com/a4t6Xftkm3
— Carl Wesley Menswear (@CarlWesleyUSA) September 21, 2021
The last example I have is Happy Bulge Swim Co. Their main fight was with Facebook, but Instagram was an issue too. It wasn’t just what they posted on their page, but their ads they were paying to advertise for flagged too. Like Carl Wesley their items were pretty conservative in nature they were posting. Now how can a swim brief be inappropriate beats the heck out of me. I’ve worn smaller ones to the beach and didn’t get banned as of yet. We see women wearing skimpier ones at beaches and on social media. Here’s when they started having issues.
“The trouble started when our product photography contained close-up images of men wearing swimsuits. As you can imagine, the best way to market such a product is to show it on a model. Since we committed to showing off the swimwear on different body types, we couldn’t just use a plastic mannequin like you’d see in a store. There’s nothing playful, cheeky and fun about that. We used models of all shapes and sizes. And apparently it’s the sizes that the social media giant objected to.”
Are close ups of models in products really sexually explicit or even inappropriate content? Does it apply to women’s swim and underwear too or is it the bulge causing the issue? If it is the bulge that is sad especially with none of the pictures being anything that would be considered extreme. Really not much bulging at all in my opinion. Here’s how they compared their photos.
“no different than you’d see on a swimmer or diver at the Olympics…”
Well, Happy Bulge Swim Co enlisted some help with their fight to get their Facebook account reinstated and did win the battle. You can read their post on it here.
I’ve tried to find if women or women’s underwear/swimwear brands or retailers are having the same issues with their accounts. So far I haven’t had much luck. If you know of any let me know. It does seem men are at least targeted a lot more, but I also interact more with them. I mainly just follow women related accounts to bikini and thong underwear/swimwear. None that I follow have disappeared that I have noticed.
So there is a good possibility of double standards with these social media giants. They definitely do not know what sexual content and nudity are or have good customer service to their users. I mean they only really responded to one of my examples and that is only because they reached out to a syndicated radio host and newspaper columnist to help them out.
Who else has had issues with their content on social media? Did you fight it and win? Never hear anything back from them? Just say screw it and move on? Comment and let everyone know your story.