After allegedly soliciting nude photos from models, celebrity photographer Marcus Hyde’s Instagram account had been deactivated but is now reinstated as private.
A spokeswoman for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said his account had not been deactivated by Instagram. In addition, model Sunnaya Nash, who goes by Sunnnaya on Instagram and who posted about Hyde’s alleged misconduct soliciting nude photos from her and subsequently had her posts deleted, is having those posts reinstated by Instagram, according to the Facebook spokeswoman (although as of this writing they had not been). The exchange between Hyde and Nash was first reported Monday by Diet Prada.
The Los Angeles-based Nash had shared what she said was a text exchange with Hyde detailing his attempt to solicit nude photos for free. Her agent at the Akrav Agency, Joie Duke-Ryan, said she was not immediately available for comment Tuesday afternoon. Duke-Ryan initially agreed to comment about the situation but retracted those remarks.
A self-taught photographer, Hyde’s portfolio includes work with Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West and Ariana Grande. A request for comment to Hyde’s site was not responded to.
Nash also had shared reports of alleged misconduct against Hyde in posts from other models, whose names she blacked out to protect their privacy. That information was also removed by Instagram for going against community guidelines on nudity or sexual activity. “If you post something that goes against our guidelines again, your account may be deleted, including your posts, archive, messages and followers,” the spokeswoman said.
But the spokeswoman offered another explanation for the matter, which she said was a mistake.
“We’ve taken a look at the content on Sunnnaya’s account and it was removed in error. One of the things that may have happened here is due to one of our policies around bullying and harassment,” the Facebook spokeswoman said. “This content was removed in error and has been reinstated. We apologize to Sunnnaya for the mistake.”
She said that may have been a result of thinking that “an account may be posting private conversations with another individual that there may be targeted bullying from the person on the account. This was a mistake obviously. She hasn’t violated our policies, but I think there was some confusion there. I’m digging into what exactly happened when this content was reviewed and why that decision was made, because it was the wrong decision.”
Several of Nash’s Instagram followers were quick to blast Instagram for its actions. Sandor Clegane posted, “@instagram cares about cash, not women’s safety.” Lovegood posted, “This has literally no nudity???????? You are doing the right thing by exposing a rapist and they are define to protect him. Shame on you @instagram.”
In response to the allegations against Hyde, Grande posted words of caution to models/artists in L.A. and elsewhere, advising “please do not shoot with photographers who make you uncomfortable or make you feel like you need to take your clothing off if you don’t want.” The Grammy winner advised her followers to work with such photographers as Alfredo Flores, All Things Mean’s Ricky Alverez and Stefan Kohli. None of the lensmen responded to requests for comment Tuesday.
The Model Alliance also notified its community of Hyde’s alleged behavior, reaching 40,000 followers across all social media and 7,800 contacts via its newsletter. The group’s base consists of mostly models and other industry professionals. Founder Sara Ziff said Tuesday, “The safety of models is our top priority and we have already shared notice of the allegations via our social media channels. A more formal notice linking to resources is slated to go out later today.”
Photographers soliciting models directly is an increasingly hazardous problem. For the past few years, agencies such as Model Management Group have been dealing with people misrepresenting themselves as employees to solicit models. Elite and IMG also have recruitment warnings on their respective sites.
On another front, some photographers are dealing with the fallout from impersonators falsely soliciting models. A European male model accused of impersonating photographer David Bellemere via social media and soliciting models is due back in court in Lyon, France, later this year.
In March, London-based photographer Holly McGlynn warned that someone had set up a fake Facebook account in her name under the auspices of a lingerie shoot. “They used my name, web site and reputation to attempt to elicit photos of young girls in their underwear,” she wrote.
In one of Nash’s threads, McGlynn’s fellow photographer Kylie Eyra noted that attempt “to trick women into sending nudes. Something we need to watch for, too. It’s so vile.”