The Real Community Guidelines: How to Be a True Ally


I was lying in bed, naked except for my boxer briefs, preparing to post my chapbook cover reveal on my personal Instagram when the Assistant Editor of Animal Heart Press messaged me to tell me that my cover had been flagged by Instagram and removed from the press’s account due to their community standards. I hopped out of bed and ran into the bathroom where my wife, Ashley, was brushing her teeth. I furiously told her what Instagram had done.

Once she expressed the appropriate level of outrage, she nodded in the direction of our male roommate’s open door and said, “You know you’re naked, right?”

“So?” I said, shrugging. I looked down at my tits, which don’t feel any more private to me than my thumbs or knees. Hiding them, particularly in the comfort of my own home, has never made much sense to me. If our male roommate could wear his underwear to retrieve a tray of brownies from the fridge then I felt that I had the right to be topless while doing the dishes or shoveling handfuls of shredded cheese into my mouth. At first, my nudity worried him, because he is a good man who doesn’t want me to feel violated, but once we talked it out he said he didn’t mind seeing me topless as long as Ashley and I didn’t mind.

Despite this positive experience, the reality is that it doesn’t really matter what I feel about my own body parts—it only matters what the patriarchy thinks and in this particular instance concerning my book cover, what Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, thinks. I am certain he believes that my nipples are inappropriate, quite possibly even dangerous.

To be clear, the image on my book cover is that of several nude female mannequins. I was angry and frustrated over Instagram’s censorship but I wasn’t necessarily surprised. After all, double-standard censorship is literally embedded into their policy—the community guidelines explicitly state that they ban “some photos of female nipples.” I guess that extends to inanimate objects as well.

I imagined Kevin Systrom sitting behind his desk with a magnifying glass, trying his damnedest to determine which nipples on his hypocritical platform belonged to a woman and which belonged to a man. I imagined his forehead breaking out in a sweat as he attempted to pinpoint the exact moment in time that a transwoman’s previously free nipples should no longer be deemed appropriate.

I wrote the following poem:


I want to know what it’s like to be a man.
I want to know what it’s like
to be unwaveringly impressed
with myself.
I want to know what it’s like
to look in the mirror & think:
I want to know what it’s like
to take up so much space
that the world begins to disappear.

This poem can pretty much apply to any experience I’ve had in our patriarchal society—whether I’m walking the dog, skateboarding into town, or trying to get a drink at the bar—but what comes to mind as I write this essay is my relationship with the men who are fellow members of my gym. Take an incident that occurred last week, one that I doubt any man would dream of calling an incident. We were doing several rounds of a conditioning test that consisted of twenty heavy kettlebell swings, twenty push-ups, and a one-thousand-meter row, with each one of us having an assigned kettlebell, push-up space, and erg machine. After two rounds of this, a man with whom I am vaguely acquainted moved my kettlebell in front of an erg that was not mine and placed his heavier bell in front of my erg, claiming that I’d stolen his machine. His attitude was arrogant, smug, and disrespectful. After some pushback from me, he realized he was wrong and instead of simply admitting it and correcting his mistake, he tried to tell me that he “had my best interest in mind” and that he was in fact challenging me to use a heavier kettlebell because he “knew I could do it.” He was smiling a Patrick Bateman smile the entire time—a threatening expression masked by faux humor. Like so many other brief but unpleasant interactions I’ve had with men, I ignored him so as not to provoke him, but not without first moving my kettlebell to where it belonged. For the rest of class, he pushed himself extra hard in an attempt to beat me, to prove to himself that his body is superior to mine.

It’s a tale as old as time: men are terrified of women’s bodies. So terrified, in fact, that they apparently fear even inanimate representations of women. Women are sexualized from the time we can walk but are also told our bodies are inappropriate. We are both coveted and hated, sought after and shamed. When my cover was censored by Instagram, I knew that I had chosen an appropriate title for my poetry chapbook: Our Debatable Bodies.

The title of my book is disgusting in the sense that it should never be a book title in the first place. The adjective debatable should never modify the word body, regardless of whose body it is. Our bodies aren’t up for debate. They exist, they amaze, they enchant. They move throughout the world connecting with other bodies. Our bodies are beautiful; our bodies are the highest form of art. And yet here we are, living in a country with a brutal, merciless history of disputing bodies and dehumanizing various groups of people. From the slaughter of Native Americans to the enslavement of Black people, this country was founded by white men who believed that their bodies and their bodies alone were untouchable, and it has been run by these men ever since—whether they are in formal positions of power, such as having a seat in the House of Representatives, or informal positions of power, such as walking by a woman or an LGBTQIA+ person on the street at night.

America loves a good debate over our basic humanity. Take the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates forum hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and UCLA, scheduled for October 10, 2019. Some people view opening a dialogue about LGBTQIA+ rights as a step in the right direction, and maybe technically it is, but my love life should never be the topic of public conversation amongst strangers (unless the strangers are at a local gay bar mourning the fact that I’m off the market for good since marrying). There is something inherently humiliating about watching politicians use my basic human rights as a platform upon which to campaign. And yet, I will probably watch it, along with millions of other people. I will have a few glasses of wine and kiss my wife, Ashley, on the lips. We will watch our civil rights bounce around the room like a beach ball. We will hold each other extra tightly.

Even in a country that has legalized gay marriage, a country in which I have married a woman, it’s hard to express gratitude. I know that many LGBTQIA+ people have it far worse in other countries, such as northern Nigeria where an individual can receive the death penalty for engaging in same-sex acts. In Malaysia last year, where same-sex acts are illegal, two women were publicly caned for having sex in a car. In Japan, transgender people are forced to undergo sterilization before Japan will recognize them as their new gender. In Tanzania, gay sex can result in up to thirty years in jail. The list goes on and on. My heart aches for the queer people who live in these countries. I can’t imagine living in secrecy in order to stay alive. Moreover, I can’t imagine wanting to stay alive.

Countries that have legalized same-sex civil unions, such as Italy, are not exempt from homophobia. Ashley and I recently went on our honeymoon to Italy, visiting Rome, Sorrento, Cinque Terre, and Florence. I acknowledge our privilege in being able to do so and I am grateful beyond belief for our loved ones who made our trip possible. Amongst all of our joy and anticipation, I’d done some research on attitudes toward our community in Italy prior to going so that we could ensure our safety. We decided to keep a low profile and avoid telling any of our Airbnb hosts that we are in a relationship, let alone married.

But then we meet B, one of our Airbnb hosts in Colli di Fontanelle, a picturesque village located on top of the Sorrento peninsula hills. He’s a beautiful man in suspenders who welcomes us with prosecco and smiles. He shows us around the property. A pool, a jacuzzi, and our own private terrace with a view so gorgeous that Ashley asks me if I can turn my camera on “whatever the opposite of portrait mode is” so I can blur out her face and focus on the scenery.

Once we get settled, B drives us a few miles down the hill to the Sorrento town square for the evening. The roads are so narrow two lanes should be illegal, but that doesn’t stop B and every other driver from pressing on the gas pedal like they’re playing racing games at the arcade. Reading the gayness of the room, or rather, of the speeding death machine we are accompanying him in, he tells us that he’s gay, that his parents don’t approve, and that Sorrento is a terrible place for queer people. I am immediately thrilled to hear that he’s gay, although naturally it makes me sad that he has to live in secrecy—I want to stuff him in my suitcase and take him back to California.

I am reminded of my college basketball teammate who, over a decade ago, taught me to use the word “family” when identifying a queer person in public. It would take years before I really understood what she meant by that—that for the most part, other queer people are safe havens, that they often become chosen family. In an otherwise uneasy city, B is a safe space, a small miracle. He says that his parents, despite knowing that he’s gay, continue to pester him with hurtful questions like, “When will you bring home a nice girl?” This invalidation of a core piece of identify is a form of intergenerational censorship and its consequences are far-reaching.

It would be easy for B to please his parents with deflections or lies but he doesn’t do that. He tells them, “You know that I don’t like girls.” He relays this to us with a shrug, although I can see the distress in his eyes.

He speaks of moving out of Italy. He says, “You’re so lucky that you live in America where it’s so welcome and free.”

We explain that San Diego is a lovely place but that not everywhere in the country is as welcoming. That there are places we could still be killed for kissing in public, that laws don’t save lives. He listens, astounded. I want him to come visit us in San Diego. Hell, I want him to move to San Diego. I want to see him dance in the gay bars, a triumphant smile painted across his face. I tell him that we are actually on our honeymoon and he congratulates us but agrees that we should fly under the radar. It’s upsetting to hear him confirm that I shouldn’t throw my arms around Ashley in a fit of love if I feel so inspired to. When we get into town, we thank him for the ride and for sharing his heart with us. We walk through town to find a nice restaurant to celebrate our commitment to each other. We don’t hold hands. My palms burn at my self-censorship. But self-censorship keeps you temporarily alive, even if it slowly kills you.

On our walk, we talk about our conversation with B, his vulnerability and openness. We talk about our destructive, hateful America. The cognitive dissonance of living in a destructive, hateful America but being legally allowed to get married. We wonder how soon our marriage will be taken from us. I want to curl up into a ball and hold onto it for dear life.

White cishet women show their ignorance and privilege when they say things like, “This isn’t the America that I know” in response to inhumane laws, such as abortion criminalization in states like Georgia, Alabama, and Kentucky. Now that they are impacted by policies, they’ve become tireless vigilantes in overturning these laws. The same goes for white queers who shared the upsetting story of the two queer women who were beaten up for refusing to kiss on a bus in London. For days, I couldn’t load my Instagram without seeing another post about the hate crime when, for the most part, my Instagram is full of dogs, beer, wine, traveling, and romance. The reason for this outrage amongst people who don’t typically post about social justice issues is not a mystery—the victims are white or white-presenting as well as fem-presenting, which of course is no fault of their own. I, too, am white and fem-presenting and I would want to share my story with the world. This begs the question, though: do most people only care about the stories they can relate to? And if so, what does this mean for marginalized individuals, particularly those at the intersection of several marginalized identities?

The problem, or at least one of them, lies in the laziness and apathy of privileged media consumers. I messaged a friend to complain that the people I saw posting about the hate crime never post about other tragedies, such as the murders of countless Black transwomen all over the country. The fact that far fewer of these murders are solved than murders of, say, white cishet people. The fact that the police investigators often misgender these victims and/or use their dead names, thus hampering the investigation. The fact that eighty-two percent of the transgender people murdered last year were women of color. My friend replied that people might not be as aware of certain issues, which may be true, but I think that responsibility comes with the territory of existing in a realm of power and privilege. We should hold ourselves accountable and responsible for seeking out such stories. We live in the age of the Internet, in which endless information is readily available at our fingertips. Does the media influence what we see and censor certain stories? Absolutely. They prioritize and center crimes against white people while demonizing people of color, even going so far as to publish the yearbook photos of white suspects instead of their mugshots, without affording the Black and brown suspects the same luxury. But even in the age of media censorship and corruption, the information is often still out there. Take the murdered Black transwomen in Dallas—there have been articles in national news outlets, such as the New York Times, the Guardian, BuzzFeed News, NBC News, TIME Magazine, CBS News, and more.

We have to ask ourselves, why the disparity in sharing? This is where many white people—cishet and queer alike—grow uncomfortable confronting their own racism and/or transphobia. In the case of white queer individuals, our marginalized identities don’t negate our white privilege and anyone who pretends it does is actively harming the LGBTQIA+ community. The painful truth: you can identify as LGBTQIA+ and still fail to be a good ally to a particular letter in that acronym.

This isn’t a new idea: supporting LGBTQIA+ rights means supporting black transwomen rights. Supporting LGBTQIA+ rights means supporting sex worker rights, since a significant amount of LGBTQIA+ people engage in sex work to financially support themselves. You don’t get to pick and choose what elements of activism you participate in. Selective activism does more damage than good, since it only serves to widen the already immense gap between various marginalized groups.

What I want, more than anything, is for all of us to look outside of ourselves, to acknowledge and spread awareness about all violations of human rights, and to then use our privilege and resources to promote positive change. Everyone has different resources, depending on who they are. Sometimes your best resource is your voice, is the ability to speak out against bigoted people, both in public and in private. I know the devastating loneliness of standing in a room full of people while my identity is mocked and demeaned. I know the fear of not knowing how a drunk cishet man will react when I say, “Her name is Ashley,” after he asks, “What’s your husband’s name?” A few days after Ashley and I got married, we went to see an oldies cover band with my parents at a dive bar by the beach. My mother, in an effort to show me that she’s not ashamed of me, bragged to a young man and his friends that I’d just gotten married. I felt conflicted; on one hand, it felt good to hear her say this with such nonchalance, but on the other hand, I hated being put in this position of discomfort. The young man held up his beer and congratulated me before asking me the fateful, gendered question. As my response escaped my mouth, all sorts of terrifying images flashed through my mind: his fist coming at my face—both in slow motion and at hyper-speed, the splattering of blood, his friends joining in, a slur of fuckyoudykebitchcunt, my mother wailing, my wife rugby-tackling the man, my father throwing a punch or two, the cops handcuffing my wife and I, the men still cursing, spitting up blood and fire and hatred.

None of that happened. In reality, he acted surprised, nearly choking on his beer and looking around the bar for something to distract him. But then he recovered and gave me his well wishes. Of course, his initial inquiry as to my husband’s name was a microaggression. Had any of his friends been good allies, they would have called him out on his assumption. They would have held him accountable for contributing to a harmful heteronormative paradigm. Instead, they probably didn’t want to rock the boat or were thinking derogatory things themselves. Thinking: But she looks like a girl. Or: I wonder if she’s down for a threesome.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, Jeez, Marisa, don’t you have a wild imagination? That man didn’t do anything to hurt you. Or maybe you’re thinking, You’ve got problems if you assume that every straight person is violent toward queer individuals.

My response to that? I have no choice but to prepare for the worst, and neither does any other person with marginalized identities. Living as a marginalized person means living in a world of What if? I’ve never been a victim of a violent hate crime but that doesn’t stop me from fearing them at every turn. I was taught from an early age that there were people out there who may want to kill me because of the female body I was born into and because of who I’m attracted to, but no one told me where these people would be hiding—or worse yet, that they weren’t in hiding at all. That they were everywhere, all the time, and that they weren’t always easily detectable.

If I—as a white fem-presenting person—live in this much fear, I can’t help but consider those who exist with far less power and privilege than I.

To me, the true measure of compassion is bringing the same vigilant energy when it comes to issues that don’t directly affect you. For me, this means not only caring about the alarming number of Black transwomen murdered each year, the migrants dying while in the custody of Border Patrol, and the disproportionate number of unarmed Black people murdered by police officers, but also using my own privilege and platform to elevate other marginalized voices. It means centering others and offering my time and resources to do what I can to address the systemic causes behind these issues. Do I do a perfect job at this? Of course not. I still have a lot to learn and there is always more I can be doing, which is why it must be an ongoing mission to do better.

For others, this might mean paying attention to the challenges surrounding bodily autonomy for people capable of getting pregnant. It might mean supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals and campaigning for our rights even when it’s inconvenient for you, such as when your family members, friends, or coworkers say or do something homophobic. It means speaking up, donating, doing whatever is within the scope of your abilities to operate in solidarity with those who are marginalized. Anyone can go to a bachelorette party at a gay bar or don a rainbow flag and party it up for Pride, but it’s important to recognize your privilege to go to and from queer spaces without any concern for safety and security of your identity. That isn’t allyship; that’s using marginalized communities for convenience, when, in fact, if you choose to utilize the spaces, you have a responsibility to stand up for and work in hand with the marginalized community the space represents. Being an ally means asking “What can I do?” or “How can I help?” and then listening compassionately, without judgment or defensiveness.

Lately I’ve seen a lot of controversy surrounding the addition of another A—representing “Ally”—in our ever-expanding acronym. In my opinion, the very desire for inclusion automatically disqualifies someone from allyship. Drawing attention to oneself is contradictory to what true allyship is about—supporting our community from a place of privilege. It means centering our community without requiring recognition or praise. As a white ally, it would be absolutely preposterous, not to mention downright offensive, to consider myself a member of the Black or Latinx community. Why, then, must straight allies demand their place at the LGBTQIA+ table? Even at the risk of asexual, aromantic, and agender erasure? This, of course, is not exclusively a queer issue. No one is more guilty of this destructive desire for inclusion than white people appropriating other cultures—from using AAVE to wearing dreadlocks to saying “bride tribe,” white people want to be able to cherry-pick which parts of a culture they’d like to borrow while retaining the privilege of neglecting the origin of these cultural elements.

When I think of LGBTQIA+ allies, I inevitably think of the language used by those who want to show their support. I think of what my mother said to me when I originally came out: “Love is love.” I’m sure she’d heard it somewhere or perhaps had read it on a shirt. It has since become a phrase that I’ve grown tired of hearing. I don’t blame my mother for her reaction. I don’t blame her at all; it was the only language she possessed at the time to show her support and I am truly lucky to have her love and support. To have had a wedding that she and my father attended with open hearts.

I think about how that expression used to hold so much power for me. It was almost revolutionary. Yeah, love is love, I thought, bewildered that such a small phrase could carry my entire life on its back. But I don’t believe that that phrase is good enough anymore. In a way, “Love is love” is the “I don’t see color” of queer conversation. As a white person, I am in no way saying that I know what it feels like for people of color to hear that expression. For an insightful article about the problematic nature of “I don’t see color,” read this piece by Julia Chaffers. What I am saying is that both phrases are reductive and derivative and don’t acknowledge or appreciate the vast diversity within marginalized groups.

Aside from the fact that “Love is love” is used by companies to improve their marketing and sales in a capitalist system that upholds the white, patriarchal systems of power in our country, particularly during Pride Month, it is also a denial. In a way, it is a refusal to explore differences in a deep and meaningful manner. “Love is love” is arguably censorship in that it closes the door to conversations worth having about LGBTQIA+ identities and desires. I want to scream that love is not love. Queer love is its own category full of denial and shame and fear and doubt and hopelessness and uncertainty and helplessness and violence and internalized homophobia. Straight love is not under attack—it doesn’t necessitate a Straight Pride Parade, as three men in Boston have so disturbingly proposed. Moreover, not everyone who is LGBTQIA+ wants to fall in love—they don’t feel the innate desire for a relationship nor do they find that love is a necessary component of their identity. But cishet people weren’t (and still aren’t) ready for such things, so our heteronormative society packaged queer people in the most vanilla box they could find—one of love and true pairings, the need for marriage so we can be just like The Straights.™️ Don’t get me wrong, I love being married to Ashley, but not every LGBTQIA+ person’s experience looks like mine, nor should anyone want it to.

What I want is to not have to come out, repeatedly, every time I encounter a new situation. I don’t want to have to self-censor, depending on my surroundings, to be vigilant in my quest to determine if a new situation is a safe space or not. Whether I’m at the gym, the bar, or a new job, I have to ask myself the same questions: Who are these people? What are their political views? Where are they from? What are their values? Are they straight? Are they open-minded? Are they predatory? Am I comfortable around them? What are the laws here? The answers to these questions determine whether I mention my wife or keep quiet. I’m lucky that, more often than not, I feel comfortable coming out to acquaintances, but there are the occasional aggressive reactions, like the cishet white man from Boston who called me a fucking dyke and screamed in my face in a bar in Iceland. Being a white queer person, though, I have the privilege of choosing to wear the portion of my identity that is marginalized on the inside in potentially dangerous situations if I want to, something that isn’t the case for people of color.

Instagram recently made an announcement that they are going to demote posts that don’t necessarily violate community standards but could be considered inappropriate. Sexually suggestive content falls under this category along with violent or harmful content. What this means is that these posts won’t appear on the Instagram Explore page and will be filtered out of hashtags, resulting in the posts reaching fewer people than content that isn’t borderline offensive. You know there’s a huge problem when human sexuality falls under the same “inappropriate” umbrella that violent and graphic images do. What’s even more disturbing (but hardly shocking) is that violent images are not automatically removed from Instagram and yet female nipples are.

The banning of women’s nipples is, of course, violence in and of itself.

I don’t support censorship, in any shape or form that the monster takes, so I took the liberty of creating an erasure poem using Instagram’s Community Guidelines in order to reveal what their community guidelines ought to be.


Community Guidelines

The Short

We want Instagram to continue to be an authentic and safe place for inspiration and expression. Help us foster this community. Post only your own photos and videos and always follow the law. Respect everyone on Instagram, don’t spam people or post nudity.

The Long

Instagram is a reflection of our diverse community of cultures, ages, and beliefs. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the different points of view that create a safe and open environment for everyone.

We created the Community Guidelines so you can help us foster and protect this amazing community. By using Instagram, you agree to these guidelines and our Terms of Use. We’re committed to these guidelines and we hope you are too. Overstepping these boundaries may result in deleted content, disabled accounts, or other restrictions.

             Share only photos and videos that you’ve taken or have the right to share.
 As always, you own the content you post on Instagram. Remember to post
             authentic content, and don’t post anything you’ve copied or collected from the
             Internet that you don’t have the right to post. Learn more about intellectual
             property rights.
             Post photos and videos that are appropriate for a diverse audience.
             We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images
             that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t
             allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-
             created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-
             nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of
             post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.
             Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.
             People like to share photos or videos of their children. For safety reasons,
             there are times when we may remove images that show nude or partially-nude
             children. Even when this content is shared with good intentions, it could be
 used by others in unanticipated ways. You can learn more on our Tips for Parents page.
             Foster meaningful and genuine interactions.
             Help us stay spam-free by not artificially collecting likes, followers, or shares,
             posting repetitive comments or content, or repeatedly contacting people for
             commercial purposes without their consent.
             Follow the law.
             Instagram is not a place to support or praise terrorism, organized crime, or
             hate groups. Offering sexual services, buying or selling firearms and illegal or
             prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region) is also not allowed.
             Instagram also prohibits the sale of live animals between private individuals,
             though brick-and-mortar stores may offer these sales. No one may coordinate
             poaching or selling of endangered species or their parts.
             Remember to always follow the law when offering to sell or buy other
             regulated goods. Accounts promoting online gambling, online real money
             games of skill or online lotteries must get our prior written permission before
             using any of our products.
             We have zero tolerance when it comes to sharing sexual content involving
             minors or threatening to post intimate images of others.
             Respect other members of the Instagram community.
 We want to foster a positive, diverse community. We remove content that
             contains credible threats or hate speech, content that targets private
             individuals to degrade or shame them, personal information meant to
             blackmail or harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages. We do
             generally allow stronger conversation around people who are featured in the
             news or have a large public audience due to their profession or chosen
             It’s never OK to encourage violence or attack anyone based on their race,
             ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation,
             religious affiliation, disabilities, or diseases. When hate speech is being shared
             to challenge it or to raise awareness, we may allow it. In those instances, we
             ask that you express your intent clearly.
             Serious threats of harm to public and personal safety aren’t allowed. This
             includes specific threats of physical harm as well as threats of theft, vandalism,
             and other financial harm. We carefully review reports of threats and consider
             many things when determining whether a threat is credible.
             Maintain our supportive environment by not glorifying self-injury.
             The Instagram community cares for each other, and is often a place where
             people facing difficult issues such as eating disorders, cutting, or other kinds of
             self-injury come together to create awareness or find support. We try to do
             our part by providing education in the app and adding information in the Help
             Center so people can get the help they need.
             Be thoughtful when posting newsworthy events.
             We understand that many people use Instagram to share important and
             newsworthy events. Some of these issues can involve graphic images. Because
             so many different people and age groups use Instagram, we may remove
             videos of intense, graphic violence to make sure Instagram stays appropriate
             for everyone.
             We understand that people often share this kind of content to condemn, raise
             awareness or educate. If you do share content for these reasons, we
             encourage you to caption your photo with a warning about graphic violence.
             Sharing graphic images for sadistic pleasure or to glorify violence is never

             Help us keep the community strong:
             Each of us is an important part of the Instagram community. If you see
             something that you think may violate our guidelines, please help us by using
             our built-in reporting option. We have a global team that reviews these reports
             and works as quickly as possible to remove content that doesn’t meet our
             guidelines. Even if you or someone you know doesn’t have an Instagram
             account, you can still file a report. When you complete the report, try to
             provide as much information as possible, such as links, usernames, and
             descriptions of the content, so we can find and review it quickly. We may
             remove entire posts if either the imagery or associated captions violate our
             You may find content you don’t like, but doesn’t violate the Community  
             Guidelines. If that happens, you can unfollow or block the person who posted
 it. If there’s something you don’t like in a comment on one of your posts, you
             can delete that comment.
 Many disputes and misunderstandings can be resolved directly between
             members of the community. If one of your photos or videos was posted by
             someone else, you could try commenting on the post and asking the person to
             take it down. If that doesn’t work, you can file a copyright report. If you believe
             someone is violating your trademark, you can file a trademark report. Don’t
             target the person who posted it by posting screenshots and drawing attention
             to the situation because that may be classified as harassment.
             We may work with law enforcement, including when we believe that there’s
             risk of physical harm or threat to public safety.
             For more information, check out our Help Center and Terms of Use.

Thank you for helping us create one of the best communities in the world,

The Instagram Team


Rumpus original art by Lea Wells.

Marisa Crane is a queer writer whose work has appeared in Wigleaf Top 50, Jellyfish Review, Hobart, Pithead Chapel, Okay Donkey, Cotton Xenomorph, and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, Our Debatable Bodies (Animal Heart Press, 2019). Originally from Allentown, PA, she currently lives in San Diego with her wife. More from this author →