Claim: Instagram has banned posting of the phrase "I am a born-again follower of Jesus Christ."
Example: [Collected via e-mail, February 2015]
Seeing TONS of people posting that Instagram has "banned Jesus" because you are unable to type in the phrase I AM A BORN AGAIN FOLLOWER OF JESUS without getting a community standard violation.
Origins: A rumor began circulating on social media in February 2015 claiming that Instagram had "banned Jesus," as evidenced by many users' discovering that posting the phrase "I am a born again follower of Jesus" to the comments attached to photographs resulted in the display of a community guidelines violation warning:
Its true. Wow instagram.Got this restriction for commenting "I am a born again follower of Jesus Christ" on instagram pic.twitter.com/ntgmSSBbhF
Brittney Moses (@Brittney_Moses) February 27, 2015
Although it is correct that Instagram blocks users from adding the phrase "I am a born again follower of Jesus" to the comments of a post, this phenomenon has nothing to do with Jesus or religion. The reason this comment violates Instagram's community guidelines is because it includes letters
spelling out the term "gain follower." Instagram users also can't comment that they are "born again followers of grilled cheese" or "born again followers of the Chicago Bulls."
Instagram has marked the phrase "gain follower," as well as variations of the term, as a spam technique intended to boost users' popularity. While this prevents people on Instagram from overtly begging for more followers, it has also inadvertently stopped a few people from proclaiming that they are "born again followers of Jesus."
Instagram could refine this ban in the future in order to prevent the phrase "born again" from being inadvertently classified as spam. In the meantime, there are a few workarounds: Since the word "Jesus" is not banned on Instagram, users can write something similar to "I am born again. I love Jesus" or replace the "o"s in "I am a born again follower of Jesus" with "0"s:
Last updated: 28 February 2015