Social media giant Instagram has added the capability for users to tag their photos using emoji – except for one glaring exception.

The long purple eggplant emoji has been excluded from the search functionality, reportedly because its phallic shape links it to genitals, nudity and sexual acts.

#🍆 #freetheeggplant

A photo posted by katie notopoulos (@katienotopoulos) on

Instagram confirmed to MTV News that the eggplant is “unsearchable” due to its connotations.

The guidelines of the image and video sharing app ban “photos, videos and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully nude buttocks”. 

The update to allow emojis to be searchable was released earlier this week.


Other banned tags on Instagram include #sex, #weed and #porn.

Though the eggplant has been outlawed, the gun and knife emojis are still searchable. Hmm…

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