'Sluts Against Harper' Is Back on Instagram After Being Banned

The campaign to give out nudes for voting is now a 'factory' operation.

Oct 8 2015, 6:42pm

Image: Flickr/Roland Tanglao

Sluts Against Harper, the Canadian campaign to send personalized nudes over Instagram to anyone who can prove they've voted in the federal election has amassed thousands of followers on Instagram just two days after launching. But success, the group is learning, has its drawbacks.

Last night, Instagram disabled Sluts Against Harper's account. Sluts Against Harper's pseudonymous founder Jessica Simps told me over the phone that she was not notified of the takedown—Instagram's policy is to notify users of account suspensions—but several hours later, the account was back online.

"We're actually changing our model," Simps said of the close call. "We're not going to post so much stuff on our feed that could get us taken down again, because we don't want to lose those 5,000 followers. We're going to be working on a [direct message] basis, where most of the traffic has been."

"We've been non-stop, like, 20 girls constantly. It's been a factory."

Instagram spokesperson Gabe Madway confirmed over email that Sluts Against Harper's account was banned and reinstated. Though he wouldn't provide more details, citing Instagram's policy about user privacy, he noted that Instagram may not take the political context of accounts into consideration upon first review.

Nevertheless, Instagram maintains notoriously strict rules against nudity, which Motherboard's own Kari Paul encountered when a photo of her topless friend at the beach kept getting taken down earlier this year.

To keep up with the demand for nudes from voters, Simps told me, she's enlisted a team of volunteers, including a PR person to handle their emails. "We've been non-stop, like, 20 girls constantly," Simps told me over the phone, "It's been a factory."

Screengrab: Sluts Against Harper

The all-woman team is spread out across Canada, Simps said, and is handling all the admin duties. There are men involved as well, she continued, they're just not steering the Sluts Against Harper ship.

"As far as my admin team goes, we are all female," said Simps. "We have men who message us to be a part of the campaign and to contribute nudes for male voters who ask for male photos, so we have a nude bank, which is nice."

For now, it looks like Canada's digital factory for turning civic engagement into nude pics is free to continue humming along.