Harold Jessurun and Aníbal Quiñones are the prominent creators of the popular Pepito comic in Puerto Rico. Over the weekend, Jessurun sent us the duo’s latest work of political art, asking Latino Rebels if we could share the piece as long as we gave credit to them. Ever since 2011, when LR was first founded, we have always taken submissions by artists and their works to share. Our site has over 500 contributors and when creatives ask us for help to promote their works, we are down. So once we saw what Jessurun and Quiñones submitted, we shared it Sunday on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.
By Monday morning, Instagram had deleted the image, citing that we had violated its Community Guidelines for posting the cartoon. Instead of appealing, we just agreed to it so we could get our account activate. We did let Jessurun know about what happened and this is what shared back as a statement from him and Quiñones:
We feel it’s very unfortunate.
Being that President Trump’s call for his supporters to liberate states dominated by Democratic governors during the peak of the pandemic seems extremely unfortunate to us. We understand the pain and despair in the face of financial pressures that we all feel, especially in the less-privileged classes. Still, this virus does not discriminate between race, religion, political preferences, or social class. Although the epidemic has economic repercussions, the reality is one: Economists are not epidemiologists. Leaving our homes for non-essential activities, contrary to the government’s medical recommendation, is no longer a personal decision at the time it has the potential to affect other people. Seeing the demonstrations by the President’s supporters makes us sad. Especially since we understand the danger that these people are exposed to, even if they think they are not. This danger is what we are trying to portray in this illustration. A group of our nation, which in defiance of scientific recommendation, may suffer casualties. A situation for which no one should rejoice.
Interestingly enough, the image is still on Twitter and Facebook as of right now, despite some trolling by this guy, who is making sure everyone is his circle knows about the cartoon.
As for Instagram, here are what its new COVID-19 terms say:
COVID-19: Community Guidelines Updates and Protections: As people around the world confront this unprecedented public health emergency, we want to make sure that our Community Guidelines protect people from harmful content and new types of abuse related to COVID-19. We’re working to remove content that has the potential to contribute to real-world harm, including through our policies prohibiting coordination of harm, sale of medical masks and related goods, hate speech, bullying and harassment and misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm. As the situation evolves, we continue to look at content on the platform, assess speech trends, and engage with experts, and will provide additional policy guidance when appropriate to keep the members of our community safe during this crisis.
We want Instagram to continue to be an authentic and safe place for inspiration and expression. Help us foster this community. Post only your own photos and videos and always follow the law. Respect everyone on Instagram, don’t spam people or post nudity.
With that said, the same art by Jessurun and Quiñones still appears several times on Instagram, like here, here, and here. And having been on Instagram for years, all you need to do is go here and see all these blatant examples of community standards violations. That’s just one of many places.