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Instagram removes image of gay couple kissing because it's 'offensive and against guidelines'

The image, which features a gay couple who have been together for seven years kissing, has been removed from Instagram during Pride month

2018-07-01

Instagram has come under fire for removing an image of two gay men kissing because it's "offensive" and "against guidelines". 

The image was shot by photographer Stella Asia Consonni for her latest project, a series of photos featuring strangers kissing and being intimate.

Consonni's project was featured in an article for i-D written by Georgia Wright, in which the London-based photographer discusses her inspiration and why she decided to create the project. 

One of the images, which features a gay couple who have been together for seven years kissing, was shared on Instagram but quickly removed for being "offensive" and because it didn't follow Instagram's "community guidelines". 

The social media giant also warned that violating the guidelines a second time would result in having the account restricted or banned. 

Photographer Consonni hit back at the social platform in an Instagram video, writing: "Dear Instagram, I am utterly disgusted that you have just deleted a picture of a gay couple kissing".

Sharing the image, Consonni continued: "This is the pic that has just been taken down. Are you for real?!"

She added: "And to the horrible person that reported it: Get the F off my Gram and crawl back to your homophobic little insignificant existence."

Consonni then urged followers to repost and tag Instagram.

Years & Years singer Olly Alexander also took aim at the social giant in an Instagram video, urging them to respond to the controversy. 

He wrote: "Just been informed Instagram removed the following image for being 'offensive and against guidelines'..."

After sharing the snap, Alexander wrote: "Please can you provide a response Instagram." Then, referencing the image, Alexander added: "Not offensive". 

Instagram later apologised in a statement, claiming the picture had been taken down by mistake and that it had been reinstated.

"This post was removed in error and we are sorry," a spokesperson said. "It has since been reinstated."