#FreeTheNipple

#FreeTheNipple

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Overview

#FreeTheNipple is a Twitter hashtag campaign introduced by Scout Willis, daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, to protest Instagram’s content moderation policy on nudity that resulted in the removal of several photographs she had uploaded to her account.

Background

On May 20th, 2014, Scout Willis sent out a tweet[1] expressing her frustration over Instagram’s removal of a photograph she had shared because it featured[2] a jacket decorated with a picture of two topless woman. She also expressed frustration over Instagram’s strict policy against nudity, insisting that it seems to be at odds with its comparatively lax restrictions against photos featuring drug use.



On May 26th, she tweeted,[3] “Well, let’s just see how long they let me stay this time…,” referencing photos she had just posted to her Instagram account which featured women’s nipples. The next day she tweeted an e-mail from Instagram informing her they had removed the photos for not meeting their guidelines.



Precursors

On December 2nd, 2013, Lina Esco created a page on the crowdsourcing website Fund Anything[9] for her film Free the Nipple, which focused on women fighting for the right to go topless in New York City. The film was covered by many websites including The Huffington Post[10] and Oyster Mag.[11] On December 14th, Miley Cyrus tweeted out a photo of herself with her shirt raised to expose her (censored) chest to the film’s Twitter account.[12] As of May 2014, the tweet has gained over 27,000 retweets and over 30,000 favorites.



Notable Developments

Topless Photos in New York City

The same day, she tweeted out two photos of herself walking through New York City without a shirt, with the second tweet introducing the hashtag #FreeTheNipple. In less than a week the later tweet gained over 2,000 retweets and over 2,000 favorites.

The same day she tweeted out two photos of herself walking through New York City without a shirt, with the second tweet introducing the hashtag #FreeTheNipple. In less than a week the later tweet gained over 2,000 retweets and over 2,000 favorites.



News Media Coverage

The the same day Willis tweeted out her topless photos the hashtag was covered by Gawker.[5] In the following days the hashtag was covered by many news websites including New York Daily News[6], CNN[7] and The Daily Beast.[8] Following the media coverage, the hashtag #FreeThe Nipple[4] was tweeted out over 20,000 times in less than a week.

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