Instagram has re-instated a post aimed at women of color that it took down earlier this week, citing its hate speech policy.
The post, created by activist Rachel Cargle, was meant to be a safe space for women of color to react to the tragic murder of Nia Wilson, the 18-year-old black woman who was attacked and killed while waiting on a BART train platform in Oakland.
“The space under the post (commented, replies) is exclusively for women of color. Exclusively. No white women, no men,” the caption read. Soon hundreds of women of color gathered to grieve and mourn together in the post’s comment section.
But Instagram initially saw the post as a form of hate speech and sent Cargle a message, informing her that they’d removed the post for “not following community guidelines on hate speech or symbols” and instructed her that posting more content of similar nature would possibly result in her IG account being restricted or suspended.
Cargle posted Instagram’s message to her when they took down the post on Tuesday, adding that “this ripped my heart to shreds and I am in tears.”
“Do you see this?” she wrote in response to the message from instagram. “Do you see how not only are we killed in the street we are also punished for grieving. We are not seen as human, we are not regarded as beings who live and breathe and feel and are worthy of existence. We are oppressed, then we are killed, then we are silenced.”
On Thursday, Instagram re-instated the post with zero explanation of their process.
“Instagram has a heavy track record of taking down posts by people of color in order to maintain the comfort and satisfaction of their white community,” Cargle told the Huffington Post.
“When black people report posts we get nowhere near the type of quick and efficient responses, in fact we are often turned away saying that our concerns are not valid when we bring racist, problematic posts to their attention,” she added.