Fitness model, influencer accuses Instagram of discrimination through shadowbanning

LGBTQ model Izan Xander says popular social media platform blocked his account
By: Izan Xander
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Fitness Model Izan Xander
Fitness Model Izan Xander
LOS ANGELES - May 10, 2020 - PRLog -- A gay fitness model with a growing Instagram account says the social media platform discriminated against him and other LGBTQ influencers by shadowbanning their accounts.

Izan Xander said he had heard from other gay models that Instagram was blocking their accounts but was skeptical until it happened to him.

After watching his account following grow, one day he shared his username with someone new; that person later told Xander the account didn't exist.

"I gave this person my account, @IzanXander2, and they told me when they went there, nothing showed up," he said. "It was as if my account did not exist."

Xander logged in himself to check his account and it appeared to be working normally. But when he asked his sister to visit his page from her own account, she said her brother's account didn't appear.

"That's when I came to the conclusion that what my gay friends said about being blocked by Instagram must be true," he said. "Because it happened to me, too."

Social media platforms like Instagram are often accused of applying the technique of "shadowbanning," or blocking a user's content from view without letting them know their content is being secretly hidden.

According to Xander, he has not posted nudity or any other content in violation of Instagram's community guidelines. He alleges that Instagram never notified him that his account was going to be hidden from people who searched for him, pointing to shadowbanning.

"It's not just me," Xander said. "Instagram has been suppressing gay accounts like mine and many more. I am coming forward to share my story of LGBT discrimination and take a stand against this unfair attempt by Instagram to silence the queer community."

Xander said he has contacted Instagram with a complaint but has yet to receive a response.

Learn more about Izan Xander at Follow Xander on Twitter at @IzanXander.


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