Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.

Inside Instagram’s Long Guerrilla War on Porn—and the Users Who Keep Coming Back / The Slice

Written by Beejoli Shah for The Slice. Originally published on May 14th, 2015.


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There is something zen about scrolling through photos of thousands of penises, all standing at attention, rows and rows of thumbnails of erections of all colors, each captured for the camera in varying states of throb.

 “Why am I looking at dicks?!?” one shrieked after peeking over at my phone, while pushing her eggs benedict as far away from me as possible, like genitalia was contagious.

I offered the table a reasonable explanation: that a corner of Instagram had become a flourishing nude-sharing community, that it was managing to thrive despite the company’s staunch dedication to scrubbing errant body parts from the site, that, oh for god’s sake, hadn’t they heard of the term “Eggplant Fridays,” where users share photos of their penile bulges?

They had not.

Even after swearing that I wasn’t really looking at the penises as much I was looking for a specific penis—one whose owner had posted it for fun, who wasn’t trying to sell me a cam site membership (“How can you tell the difference?” “You just can!”)—my friends remained unplacated. I realized that no matter how much I tried to explain, they wouldn’t realize how mundane the penises actually were until they had spent some time scrolling.

As for me? After a month of trying to understand the deep rift between Instagram and its, um, headstrong streakers, I had gotten used to them.”


Click here to keep reading about Instagram’s war on adult content.

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