Instagram and Facebook are banning the use of 'sexual' emojis

30 October 2019, 16:50 | Updated: 30 October 2019, 17:19

Instagram and Facebook are banning the use of 'sexual' emojis.
Instagram and Facebook are banning the use of 'sexual' emojis. Picture: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images, @mileycyrus via Instagram
Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Yes, that means no eggplant or peach emoji.

Instagram and Facebook are cleaning up their act and the first port of call is a war on emojis. Following Apple's release of new emojis with the iOS 13.2 update, Facebook (who own Instagram) revealed that would be banning suggestive emojis.

The new rules are part of the social platforms' new Community Standards, which were put into practice at some time between 7 September and 24 October, adult industry website reports.

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According to the new guidelines, emojis can't be used to suggest sexual activity and they can't be used to cover up naked body parts. Nipples and nudity are already banned on Instagram so often people playfully cover up with an emoji.


Apparently, they've chosen three emojis in particular first – eggplant, peach and water drips – because they are used to suggest sexual activities. As we all know, the eggplant emoji has been used to represent a penis, a peach can be a butt and water drips references ejaculation.

Under the rules, the emojis can still be used in captions – as long as you're not suggesting or asking anything sexual. If it has been found that you've used the emojis in a sexual way, your post could be removed. If it happens repeatedly, it can result in your account being deactivated.

Amber Rose on Instagram.
Amber Rose on Instagram. Picture: @amberrose via Instagram

The change is targeted at sex workers who will no longer be able to sell their services on both Facebook and Instagram. But other users could feel the effects of the ban too, especially if you're just the emojis as part of a joke about or when discussing sex.

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"People use Facebook to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation," Facebook said. "We recognise the importance of and want to allow for this discussion. We draw the line, however, when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults.

"We also restrict sexually explicit language that may lead to solicitation because some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content and it may impede the ability for people to connect with their friends and the broader community."

Needless to say, the news of the ban wasn't well received with Instagram and Facebook users noting how the platforms are quick to ban sexual emojis but won't ban the spread of fake news or racist groups.

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