The Vagina Museum claims it has lost access to its Instagram account after it shared a post which questioned the platform’s moderation processes.

Yesterday, in a post to its 217,000 Instagram followers, the museum shared a screenshot of a notification purportedly from Instagram, which appeared to include a list of posts flagged for content moderation.

The museum asserted in the now removed post that all of its flagged posts were historic paintings depicting a model with pubic hair. The deleted post went on to describe pubic hair taboos in art history.

Museum staff now claim that they have now been ‘locked out’ of the account too, and cannot log in and make an appeal. The account remains active at the time of reporting.

The museum said: “Usually when a post of ours is flagged, we will appeal the decision, and the post will quietly be reinstated. This time, this avenue appears closed to us.”

Zoe Williams, Head of Communications and Fundraising at the Vagina Museum said it has had a “rough old time” when posting on the platform, but “it’s always felt worth staying there as it allows us to connect with our community and fulfil our purpose: to educate about and celebrate all things vagina, vulva and the gynaecological anatomy.”

Williams went on to call for Instagram to review its moderation policy, adding: “It’s rare to see pubic hair in older paintings due to taboos and aesthetic standards dating back to antiquity. It is now the 21st century, and Instagram is applying the same beauty standards that were applied in Ancient Greece!”

Vagina Museum to reopen “bigger and better” Bethnal Green site next month

The London museum, which reopened in a new Bethnal Green location last year, has previously told Advisor of the difficulties encountered with social media platform moderation.

Instagram has been approached for comment.

Update 29 February 2024: An Instagram spokesperson told Advisor that the post had been removed in error and it has since been reinstated. The Vagina Museum has regained access to its Instagram account. 

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