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Instagram denies deleting Rihanna’s account because of racy pictures

Rihanna’s Instagram account vanished, prompting rumors she was banned for nudity.


Kate Knibbs


Posted on May 5, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 9:07 am CDT

Where did you go, Badgirlriri? Rihanna’s Instagram account disappeared earlier today. Fans suspected Instagram itself had banned the Bajan singer after she posted a series of nude shots from a recent photoshoot with French magazine Lui.


— Overdose Of Rihanna (@JadeJenningsxx) May 5, 2014

Rihanna has a history of posing provocative pictures, but the Lui photos she shared in late April showed her topless and bottomless. They prompted a warning from Instagram asking the star to stop showing so much skin in her photos. The photos are gone from Instagram, but she also posted them on Twitter

Rihanna posted this in response to the dustup: 

[Update: See past the break below, but since Rihanna’s Instagram account has disappeared again, it was a conservative, frumpy outfit photoshopped on the singer saying this is how Instagram would love her next magazine cover to look.]

She posted the Lui photos to Twitter to protest.

instagram *actually* deleted rihanna’s account? that is the most tone-deaf move ever, u guys r dumb

— r.e. kameir (@rawiya) May 5, 2014

Rihanna’s account is back up, but the Lui photos she posted are still missing. It’s not clear if her account took them down, or if Instagram removed them for violating the Terms of Use, but either way, Instagram says it did not take down the account because of the nude pictures.

While news outlets suspected Rihanna ran afoul of Instagram’s nudity monitors, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app insists the reason Badgirlriri temporarily disappeared is far more quotidian.

“This account was mistakenly caught in one of our automated systems and very briefly disabled. We apologize for any inconvenience,” an Instagram spokesperson told the Daily Dot.

This is not the first time a provocative celebrity has seen their Instagram account vanish. Rapper Tyler the Creator took to Twitter to complain that Instagram deleted his account last year. Like Rihanna’s, it was shortly restored, but Tyler the Creator insisted Instagram had purposely removed it. While the rapper hadn’t posted nude pictures, he had posted an image that showed him urinating into a trashcan.

Whether or not Rihanna’s habit for posting side-boob, blunts, and bottomless pics helped push her account into whatever automated system deleted it temporarily, it’s back now, so RiRi fans can breathe easy. At least until the next time the “Diamonds” singer toes the line on Instagram.

Update 3:14 EST: Rihanna’s account is down again. We are waiting to hear back from Instagram about why the account keeps disappearing.

Update 3:46 EST: Instagram says it is not responsible for the account going down this time. “I can confirm that we have not deleted the account subsequently,” a spokesperson told us. 

Photo via Flickr/Eva Rinaldi (CC BY-SA 2.0) 

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*First Published: May 5, 2014, 2:30 pm CDT