Instagram defends terms and conditions

Instagram speaks out over nudity ban

The co-founder of Instagram has spoken out in relation to the app's nudity policy.

Instagram has been heavily criticised by users of the app over its nudity policy which has resulted in the removal of various user accounts and photos of topless women. The terms and conditions state:

"You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the service."

Kevin Systrom CEO of Instagram, defended the social network's regulations as necessary for ensuring the app is "the safest possible place for teens and adults."

Celebrity backlash

Systrom's comments follow a protest against the nudity policy staged by the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Scout Willis posted several semi-nude photographs of herself shopping in New York last week, after Instagram deleted her account for defying the app's terms and conditions. The protest, which was documented on Twitter, was in support of the #FreeTheNipple campaign and to highlight that what is legal in the state of New York is not allowed on Instagram; Willis discusses the protest in full in her essay on XOJane.

Pop songstress Rihanna, also deleted her infamously racy Instagram account in a public display of support for the campaign.

Why are social networks bringing in nudity policies?

Instagram is not the only social network tightening regulations regarding nudity, but is the latest along with Facebook, YouTube and Google Plus.

In an interview with BBC Newsbeat, Mr Systrom said:

"Our goal is really to make sure that Instagram, whether you're a celebrity or not, is a safe place and that the content that gets posted is something that's appropriate for teens and also for adults... We need to make certain rules to make sure that everyone can use it."

The app, purchased by Facebook for $1bn (£629mn) in 2012, has previously blocked search terms related with the suspected sale of illegal drugs via the app which now has 200mn monthly users; 55mn fewer than Twitter.

Rachel Hand, head of content at theEword said: "As Instagram has grown bigger it has had to accommodate the needs of a wider demographic, its stricter regulations take into account the growing number of younger users for whom certain content may not be appropriate.

"However, Instagram has been hit with more criticism than other social networks, implying that its users are more opposed to the idea of the platform they use to express their art on being imposed with such strict guidelines."