NAME: Shelbie Dimond
PLATFORM & USERNAME: Insta – @Shelbiewho
CENSORSHIP: Account ban
What reason was given for your ban?
Why do you think your post(s) was censored?
I am an independent artist. My medium is photography. I was born a 4th generation Jehovah’s witness. I left in 2010 and was subsequently excommunicated by everyone I knew, including my family.
In 2016 I began to speak about my experiences with the cult. I angered a lot of people who are still involved with the cult. They began to harass me, with comments and emails and DM’s. Then the reports started to happen. I have had more than 7 accounts deleted. I have had accounts deleted and reinstated with no explanation. I abide by all guidelines – I censor all nudity. I began to post images that clearly had no nudity. Posts of my dog, plain pink book covers and images with no humans get removed for “nudity” and “solicitation.”
Yet there is nothing done about my harassers. I have written them probably hundreds and hundreds of times. Instagram is an integral part of my livelihood, so I cannot just up and leave. I use Instagram as traffic to my print shop, and for announcing my travel to book photoshoots. I would love nothing more than to know for certain that IG rules are being fairly distributed amongst users, but they have proved time and time again that they do not care. All it takes is one person to hate you and they are able to destroy you. Instagram gives you the option to report private accounts even if you are not following them. I’ve had private accounts deleted too.
Were you able to appeal and what was the response?
What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?
I’ve lost my income, I can no longer make travel notices and reach the following I once had, which directly affects my ability to book work and make income. I have a newsletter, Twitter and Facebook but none of these platforms has the same engagement.
What’s one thing you want people to know about this topic?
Instagram hates women.