Instagram Bans #EDM… But Why?


Last night the music press sites and blogs were up in arms about a new move Instagram made yesterday: they have now added #EDM to their hashtag blacklist, rendering it unsearchable.

At first this seemed like the social media app, who also announced a major commercial move to monetize their service through advertising, were making a knee-jerk reaction in regards to unfortunate and tragic deaths at various festivals in America recently.

Since the first wave of news stories, Instagram spokespeople have attempted to clarify the matterand  commented to Time Magazine, explaining that the hashtag’s blacklisting does not relate to drugs but to nudity.

“#EDM was being used to share content that violates our guidelines around nudity,” states Instagram spokesman Gabe Medway who also went on to explain how the Instagram team are constantly developing their policies in order to restore popular hashtags.

This isn’t the first time Instagram’s hashtag blacklist has made the news but it’s the first time a musical genre has been cited as a problematic source. What’s more, it doesn’t appear to have been done particularly thoroughly; as Dancing Astronaut rightly point out, other hashtags such as #EDMgirls remain searchable. As do #EDMbabes and even #EDMsluts. Naturally they’re full of the nudity that Instagram are apparently trying to discourage.

The reaction to Instagram’s move has left many EDM-loving online commenters feeling snubbed about the move, stating that they have been singled out when nude pictures and videos on Instagram are rife and many of them having nothing to do with dance music culture whatsoever. Just search for anything remotely pornographic, sexy or nudey and you’ll still find it very easily. Shucks, even Pornhub has an Instagram account.

We’re interested to see how this one develops. It seems like a very odd, brash and heavy-handed move to ban a musical phrase/term. But, in all honesty, it won’t affect us hugely, if at all…

Banning #EDM means nothing for Instagram users who prefer tagging and searching for established genres – and not catch-all phrases that are usually synonymous with the cheesier side of electronic music anyway – so #dubstep, #dnb, #bass #housemusic, #techno, #beats, #breaks and every other genre you can imagine has remained untouched by Instagram’s blacklist.

What’s your opinion?