NAME: Michelle Mildenhall
PLATFORM & USERNAME: @michellemildenhall_artist
CENSORSHIP: Shadow ban
What reason was given for your ban?
Violating community guidelines.
Why do you think your post(s) was censored?
Because of my connotations with the fetish/latex community. Instagram said my post was banned because of nudity (which there was none of) and the 2 other times for ball gags. Also the hashtag I use frequently is #latex and it was banned last year, so many people I know got images taken down unfairly because they used that hashtag.
Were you able to appeal and what was the response?
Yes but they still deleted the post and I have been shadowbanned for a couple of weeks. I have been banned 3 times now and I was also ‘warned’ twice last year.
What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?
It worries me that I will get banned full stop!
I sell a lot of my Art through Instagram and when I am shadowbanned it has a massive effect on who sees and buys my work. I have to be very careful about what I show as I cannot risk it. I’ve had to take down every piece of art with a ballgag in it, and anything else that is remotely sexual. My work is not crude yet I am constantly targeted. I’ve had to censor my gag art in order to make it acceptable. I have to direct my audience to my website so they can see my work properly. I cannot afford to be banned from Instagram as it’s my livelihood. I have also been shadowbanned from TikTok once.
What’s one thing you want people to know about this topic?
I feel that there is increased censorship by social media platforms which have unfairly targeted people. I hope that if we can all get together and highlight this problem then maybe something can get done. It’s not acceptable to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation and I feel like the fetish/latex community has taken the brunt of it. I take I took part in this article which you might be interested in https://thefetishistas.com/latex-vs-social-media-march-cover