A website called the Data Pack just released an incomplete but interesting list of unsearchable hashtags on Instagram. By blocking specific hashtags, Instagram says they’re both protecting users and — unlike Tumblr or Twitter, who don’t proactively prohibit but do remove offensive content after the fact — steering the culture of the site by refusing to perpetuate pornographic and otherwise offensive or damaging pictures. Apparently Instagram and its Facebook overlords have no desire to see photos of #bubblebutts (really?) or #bigbootyhoes en masse. It’s nice to know that someone is looking out for us in the wild, wild web.
Searches for #thinspiration, #probulimia, and #proanorexia similarly come up with no results and show that the social-media network also has no tolerance for pro-ana culture. Porn-y and otherwise sexist terms like #tipsydumbcunt, #whore, and other sex acts are also prohibited, as is pretty much any variation of #boobs or #dicks.
Interestlingly enough, the hashtag czars of Instagram also block things they deem “generic” or that don’t provide enough “high-end user value.” You can’t search for #photography, #iphone, or the New York restaurant #beautyandessex (although we’d put that squarely in the offensive category). Sometimes, as the list reveals, Instagram gets a little prudish: Users can’t search for a collection of photos pertaining to the #sexpistols, and if you choose to Instagram while running, you’d better like it, because #fuckrunning is also blocked. On second thought, as much as I hate exercise, I’d hate to see what the #fuckrunning search would turn up. So thanks, Instagram.