Phoographer: Christina Hasenauer

Joanna Bacas

NAME: Joanna Bacas
PLATFORM & USERNAME: Insta – @joannabacas
CENSORSHIP: Shadowban, content ban, threats to delete account, Ad/promotion ban

What reason was given for your ban?

Claiming to be violating community guidelines for nudity and sexual activity.

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

My art is “too feminist”, any discourse around the normalization of female bodies, female sexuality and queerness is immediately shut down. The female body is over-sexualized on social media, the double standard of what is allowed is real (male vs female nipples, or even the same type of content coming from a marginalized vs a non-marginalized source).

Were you able to appeal and what was the response?

I did appeal, sometimes the posts went back up, only to be deleted again later, sometimes nothing happened at all, sometimes the button to make the appeal seemed to not even work. Emails to Instagram support go unanswered and there have even been times when the posts would get taken down immediately without me even having an option to appeal.

What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?

I cannot share my work, I feel muzzled. I’m a queer female artist speaking about female sexuality and wanting to empower other women and queer people. I find myself having to balance between the art I want to create and art I can actually share without risking losing my account.

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

If social media would let us be seen, you’d wake up to a different world tomorrow.