Breaking down community guidelines on different social platforms

While repurposing content as a brand and/or is super useful, we are sometimes limited. This is due to the variously strict community guidelines on different platforms. For example, a couple weeks ago I promoted my upcoming song on Instagram with footage of my partner and I. Its engagement did very well receiving over 13,000 views in a week. 

A week later I posted the exact same content to TikTok. It received 1000 views in 24 hours but then got taken down for offending TikTok’s community guidelines – but it was exactly the same footage. Having said that, one part of the collage-like clip included me wearing a white G string bikini and smoking a joint at the same time… (it’s legal in Greece where the footage was filmed FYI). 

Upon looking into it and speaking with my management, TikTok apparently hates smoking (makes sense with its very young user base – 18-24 year olds make up 40% of the app user base) and has much stricter rules on nudity or body exposure than Instagram does. Its guidelines on ‘Regulated Goods’ reads; “We do not allow showing or promoting recreational drug use, or the trade of alcohol, tobacco products, and drugs.” 

A friend also told me that Instagram has recently freed the nipple (not that mine where exposed). This was a revised measure launched in January 2023 when the Oversight Board issued a decision advising Meta to revise its policies on freeing the nipple. Here’s what that decision actually says; “Do not post: uncovered female nipples except in the context of breastfeeding and birth-giving moments, medical or health moments (breast cancer). Users can also post genitalia when posted in a “medical or health context”” whatever that means. 

Similarly TikTok’s Nudity paragraph reads; “We do not allow nudity, including uncovered genitals and buttocks, as well as nipples and areolas of women and girls. Sheer and partially see-through clothing is not considered covered. We allow regional exceptions for showing nipples and areolas in limited situations, such as medical treatment, educational purposes, or as a part of culturally accepted practices.”

Having said that, Instagram seems to not mind body exposure and smoking like other platforms. Many OnlyFans content creators even rely on Instagram as a way to tease and promote their more adult content. 

YouTube is also very strict on nudity in particular. My team and I were unable to promote one of my music videos because YouTude identified it as containing nudity when I just wore a dress that exposed a bit of side boob… YouTube also has a very young user base with almost 25% of users being aged 16-24. Its new format YouTube Shorts is equally strict if not more. The algorithm detects nudity in a heartbeat. My usual Shorts attract between 300 and 2,000 views and I’ve noticed if a video contains any form of body exposure the views drop to around 20-30! That’s basically a shadow ban at that point. 

Where TikTok acknowledges that sheer clothing also counts, YouTube – who is just as strict- doesn’t make this as clear in its guidelines which, under nudity and sexual content, reads; “Don’t post content on YouTube if it shows: The depiction of clothed or unclothed genitals, breasts or buttocks that are meant for sexual gratification. Pornography, the depiction of sexual acts, or fetishes that are meant for sexual gratification” making it sound more straight forward than it actually is. 

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