Why Is The Hashtag #Goddess Banned On Instagram?

Hashtags are the 21st-century version of the Dewey Decimal System. Add a tag to a social-media post, and it's searchable, categorized, and more easily surfaced by other users. It makes sense that because they can be used to collect inappropriate or hateful content, some hashtags would eventually be banned. But the latest hashtag banning we've discovered is completely puzzling.

Apparently, Instagram has prohibited the hashtag #goddess (#God is fine, however). The move is a curious one: What were users publishing under the tag that earned its banishment? Earlier this year, Instagram barred the eggplant emoji from search for the plethora of NSFW phallic images you'd find there.

Like with the injunction against the eggplant emoji, users have developed a number of workarounds, such as pluralizing it to #goddesses or adding another word or two after it. For the former, you'll mostly find photos of women, spiritually related images, and a handful of mildly NSFW female nudes — nothing out of the ordinary for Instagram, and certainly nothing that seems ban-worthy.

Users are calling for Instagram to bring back the #goddess hashtag.

Just the other week, Instagram earned users' ire by getting rid of the hashtag #Curvy because "it was being used to share images and videos that violated Instagram's community guidelines around nudity." It lifted said ban three days ago, and instead will moderate the tag, curating the images that show up under the "top" and "most recent" headers.

We assume that Instagram put the kibosh on #goddess for similar reasons that it did for #curvy and the eggplant: It's a hub for nudes, which violates the app's community guidelines. But, from what we can see, the content seems positive, uplifting, and largely nonsexual. Let goddesses be #goddesses, Instagram. We've reached out to Instagram for further comment, but have not yet received a response.

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