As of April 29th, I’m back up. So ignore the vast majority of this letter. But I’m keeping it up for posterity :
An open letter to Instagram:
So it’s been fun — I had a great run and met a lot of
fly honeys great people through a shared interest in juvenility. And for that I’d like to thank you. I never thought a simple joke would garner so much attention let alone as many followers as the small town I grew up in had residents.
Thatlookslikeadick started off as a complete joke. My friends wanted me to start an IG account so that they could share images with me throughout the day. I initially and repeatedly refused as I felt it fostered an environment for inane and completely vain posts without any meaningful context– what you’re about to eat, your perfectly centered Tom’s, a blurry photo of your mangy cat. Utterly vapid and valueless posts that could find a home on any other social media platform. I have a Facebook account — why not just use that? After being continuously harangued for a few months, I finally gave in and informed my friends that I’d start an account………….. But I’d only post dick photos . Or rather, to keep things e-kosher, things that kinda sorta resembled dicks. And much like you were last week, my friends were not amused. My argument eventually became: ‘you can post the dumbest things and still get popular.’ And I made it a point to get as many followers as possible by just posting photos of items that vaguely resemble the male organ.
So let’s stop beating around the bush. There are two reasons I can come up with for having my account removed: the sexual nature of Thatlookslikeadick and the issue of copyright.
I assume, unlike pretty much everyone else, I actually read the Terms of Service agreement prior to zealously posting photos. I wanted to make sure what I posted fit within your policy of acceptable use. I never, ever posted a photo of an actual penis. Why would I? That’s gross. And having gone through your popular page and witnessing near-endorsements of:
- drug use
- hyper-sexualization of young girls
- unoriginal or copyrighted material
- general douchebaggery
- a butthole…… I think*
I thought my posts of anthropomorphized tree branches would be okay. The main part where I see a gray area is the ‘sexually suggestive’ portion of basic term #2. I admit I rode the line closely, but this is where we delve into a world of semantics that I earnestly feel fall in favor of faux-phalluses. Honestly, what do you find more sexually suggestive: a 15 year old girl in a seductive, mammory-mashing pose or an elongated children’s bounce palace with the caption “WORST CENOBITE EVER”? Are we to then say that Natgeo’s post on the Kayapo women of Brazil is somehow sexually suggestive? Not only do I see some tits, but given the contents of the photo I’m going to presume the ceremony was a rite-of-passage i.e. sexually suggestive. Or if we want to avoid the trite dispute between “anthropology vs pornography,” what about the thonged buttocks on Playboy playmate Karissa Shannon’s instagram? Is that not sexually suggestive or is that more anatomically informative? Help me out here, cause I’m confused.
Okay so let’s assume it wasn’t the sexual term that took down Thatlookslikeadick, but rather the one of posting other people’s photos. Admittedly, I did not create every photo (from its conception), but I will say I had the right to post every photo in that they became transformative works once modified, captioned, filtered and uploaded. I made every attempt to get permission from the creator of the photos I posted. When users would not respond to my requests or when they flat out said ‘no,’ I respectfully would not post their photos (Y’all missed out!). Additionally, most if not all posts should fall gingerly under the category of ‘fair use’ which includes copyright permission exceptions for: commentary, criticism, satire, parody and teaching. This is where things get somewhat convoluted, as many of my posts were not only used for commentary, satire & parody but I used the captions as a tool for teaching obscure scientific and literary novelty factoids. I mean, where else on instagram can you learn about the importance of duck-genital research, the nature of siphonophores and then read a line from Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum est? Thatlookslikeadick , that’s where it happens. Not to mention the fact that the last image I posted was from NASA, which generally does not hold copyright on the images that they make freely available to public. So to have that be a factor in Thatlookslikeadick’s demise is completely disingenuous. I mean right now on the popular page there’s a straight-up screenshot of The Simpsons from a user who has way more users than I. Not only that, but it’s from a user who is obviously using the account to generate personal revenue, something that I’m completely inept at doing and something that for the most part is not allowed under ‘fair use.’ Yet there it is on the popular page, posted by a user presumably lounging upon a perch of opulence from all the revenue he’s pilfering from users. I’d like to re-iterate that I never had commercial interests, donation links, sponsor shout-outs, phishing attempts or even a functioning website for that matter. I just liked posting photos of things that looked like dicks. That’s all.
Anyway, I’d love it if we could re-instate my account and come to an agreement on what photos I can keep up and which images I should delete. I know it’s best that we both move on, but @somewhatphallic just doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi that @Thatlookslikeadick exhibited. And I’ll make you a cake for real this time. And for anyone still reading, I’d be ecstatic if you started following @somewhatphallic for now. I know it’s not the same, but I have a big project coming up in the next few weeks which I feel will amuse some of you at least. And keep sending submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org — I’ll find a use for ‘em sometime.
Thanks for reading,
*PS I made up the butthole thing.