By Tui Benjamin
A viral bum-baring Instagram account could be forced to close – after their hashtag was banned for inappropriate content.
Get Naked Australia was launched in June 2016 by Brendan Jones, 27, who poses for cheeky nude snaps with his friends while out hiking to promote body positivity.
But the healthcare professional fears the page could shut after hashtag #getnakedaustralia was barred – despite only featuring light-hearted ‘PG’ photos with no explicit nudity.
Brendan, from Sydney, also claims his account has been ‘shadow banned’ by the social media giant, meaning no one outside his 222,000 followers can now find his posts.
The 27-year-old is frustrated accounts featuring pornographic images and videos remain active and said his posts desexualize the human body and are not inappropriate.
Brendan said: “All last year we were growing by 1,000 followers a week, then suddenly it stopped.
“I asked Instagram why this was happening, and got a notification saying the hashtag had been hidden because content did not meet Instagram’s community guidelines.
“It baffles me how Get Naked Australia is getting banned yet there are so many pages out there posting graphic pornographic content and sexually objectifying photos and videos.
“We are being restricted in sharing our fun, body positive message while these accounts are still allowed to exist and are not getting banned or shut down.
“There is no way our page is inappropriate – bare bums are shown in PG Hollywood movies.
“But if bums are so inappropriate and what we do is so wrong, why aren’t those more explicit pages shut down too?”
Brendan said he first realised last week his account had been ‘shadow banned’ – an unofficial term meaning his posts no longer show up in hashtag searches so are not discoverable to anyone who is not already following Get Naked Australia.
When he complained to Instagram, he received a warning stating ‘recent posts from #getnakedaustralia are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines’.
He said: “I love Instagram and it is how our message has reached so many people, but I just do not see how anyone could view our content as inappropriate.
“At this stage, it now seems inevitable Instagram will shut us down.
“This may be because we don’t pay them?
“It’s the only explanation I can see, considering the other disgusting pages which are allowed to exist.
“We are working on an alternative page to basically start again if the worst does happen.”
Brendan launched Get Naked Australia after making a joke naked calendar for his fiancée – but was soon being inundated with up to 20 photos imitating his stunts every day.
The profile posts photos of naked walkers posing in front of stunning mountains waterfalls and beaches with their backs to the camera – meaning explicit nudity is never featured.
Brendan said the page has been credited with changing lives by helping people step out of their comfort zones and feel confident in their own skin.
Other hashtags he uses when sharing photos include #bodypositivity, #lovetheskinyourein and #itsjustabum.
Speaking about the account last year, Brendan said: “The whole nudity thing is seen as such a big deal. Everyone is so uptight and embarrassed, we all think ‘no one can see me naked’.
“The only naked bodies we see apart from our partners or families are ones in the media and they are not accurate representations of real bodies.
“We are very quick to be ashamed and embarrassed and feel we have to cover up.
“So if the page is helping remove the stigma that being nude is wrong and must be sexual that can only be a good thing.
“It’s not about exhibitionism and there is nothing sexual about it, it’s just getting in touch with nature and having a bit of fun.”
For more information: follow Get Naked Australia on Instagram or go to https://getnakedaustralia.com.au