NAME: Betty
CENSORSHIP: Shadow & Ad ban

What reason was given for your ban?

I’ve been given reasons that I’m promoting an unhealthy lifestyle or that I’m promoting “risky behaviour.” It’s really frustrating at times as an artist because all I want to do is create for the young people so they can have representation.

Why do you think your post(s) was censored?

I think that being a fat/plus size person and an openly queer person immediately puts your social media account at the bottom of the algorithm. Having one of those identifying markers is deemed bad and being both, like myself, is considered so taboo in society. It’s a systematic thing. We’re fed these narratives that thin, white and hetero is aesthetic when in actuality no one is interested in that narrative.

Were you able to appeal and what was the response?

How can I appeal when I’m being shadow banned? All I can do is ask my community to have my back online and engage with my posts.

What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?

Barely anyone sees my art online. So it’s hard to find others to collaborate with. How many missed connections simply because I am not deemed worthy of promotion by the standards set? What even are those standards I’m competing with? All I’d like to do is represent the fat Jewish queer kids all over the world. And if I’m struggling as a white person, I can only imagine adding some melanin into my skin and what kind of experiences I would have. It’s so depressing thinking that being openly queer would get me censored and shadow banned on various social media platforms.

What’s one thing you want people to know about this topic?

Pay attention to those in your village. Censorship on social media platforms has become really harmful to the neighbourhood artists trying to make a living. It directly influences representation for others, which is why the occasional story on representation for younger generations becomes so powerful. If we have more of those stories, the world might actually be a better place.