Cristian Anutoiu

NAME: Cristian Anutoiu
PLATFORM & USERNAME: Insta – @b4cterija
CENSORSHIP: Shadow Ban, Content Ban, Face Filter Removal

What reason was given for your ban?

Nudity / Sexual elements.

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

The work that was censored was an augmented reality sculpture. It originated in a body scan whose glitches were enhanced and its original texture modified, so it would not resemble a traditional notion of a “body” anymore. Even though it doesn’t look like a body anymore, its genitalia were still “engraved” in the mesh itself and that (I think) were detected by the algorithm, and hence the filter was deleted.

Were you able to appeal and what was the response?

Yes, but no answer yet.

What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?

Since the filter was taken down, I apparently can only allow myself one more “mistake” within the guidelines of Spark AR and they will then ban me from making filters, which is a pity. The accessibility of instagram filters is one of the main reasons I try to publish them via this platform – to make people aware of AR artworks and take the fear of new media or AR away.

Since this incident, I’ve been very cautious about the sculptures and artworks that I would normally upload to instagram and hence I’m limiting myself in which artworks I post, since I work a lot with the body and its manifestations. It is very sad that even with “looser” guidelines that are (kind of more) acceptable with some types of nudity when it comes to artworks on instagram, these algorithms still misinterpret lots of works and forms.

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

That the notion of the body and importance/impact of nudity should be rethought, especially when it comes to artworks and how they deal with these topics. Many artists are (sadly) relying on instagram as a platform for shows, exposure, etc. It’s really becoming stressful to constantly be thinking about the algorithm pushing binary interpretations of gender and genitalia into artistic works. This unfair censorship is suffocating and limiting the space and room for queer or non-conforming folks and artworks.