David Evans

NAME: David Evans
PLATFORM & USERNAME: Instagram @david_a_evans
CENSORSHIP: Account, content & shadow ban

What reason was given for your ban?

All of my plus-size models were removed and my LGBT posts about the hate I was receiving were removed. Instagram intervened and did not help at all.

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

Because trolls mass report posts, most get removed and if they don’t, you’re shadow banned as you have been mass reported. It’s a common tactic of right-wing extremists who know that it censors their target. Instagram gives the power to hate, and the haters know this.

Were you able to appeal and what was the response?

I was lucky enough to be in contact with someone from Instagram. I sent them everything I received – even videos of gay men being tortured – they helped remove the violations that the mass reporting had put onto my account, but the haters just did it again. They are still doing it now. In the end, I just felt like the response of Instagram was very robotic and they constantly denied the existence of the shadow ban. They recommend you limit your profile and do not really care if you rely on Instagram for work.

What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?

At first, it put a strain on my mental health; Instagram was my sole advertising for my work and through Instagram, I have gained a lot of work and clients. Being cut off from your audience and not being able to reach more than 1000 with a following of 13k is worrying, my daily average at my peak was 30+k.

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

Will there ever be a change when Instagram denies the existence of the shadow ban? They do not have empathy for creative voices and are fully aware of how many creatives, activists, and voices are being silenced. Unfortunately, hate profits them.