INSTAGRAM has restored images of nipple tattooing to breast cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomies posted by a charity after they were earlier 'removed in error'.

The Nipple Innovation Project, the UK's first for cancer tattoos, aims to empower women who have suffered from breast cancer.

The charity, based at Goldeneye UK in Bingley, claims some of the charity's pictures of tattooed nipples were blocked by Instagram, with the platform messaging 'Your post goes against our community guidelines'.

The charity has previously received a number of warnings for uploading the pictures, but the project's founders say they have been left frustrated because they have been unable to speak directly to any representatives from Instagram.

But a Facebook Company spokesman says the charity's posts featuring pictures of their tattooing were deleted in error and have now been restored. The social media giant added it is inspired by the charity's work.

Nipple Innovation Project founder Lucy Thompson earlier said the charity was unable to pay to boost their Instagram posts to reach a wider audience because the charity has 'nipple' in its name.

She said: "It is ridiculous on every point. We're scared to post anything now.

"We are a registered charity and are changing the lives of people.

It's just a battle we should not be facing. Social media is absolutely everything these days

"We just put pictures and videos up of our nipple tattoos and even put up warnings and pixelate if that works, but it does not seem to work.

"It really affects us in a big way.

"Sometimes our posts get removed from Instagram and sometimes they get reviewed and reposted. Then sometimes, maybe a day later, they get removed again.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lucy Thompson, founder of the Nipple Innovation ProjectLucy Thompson, founder of the Nipple Innovation Project

"We are trying to do the images we post as close up as we can. We do a lot of before and after pictures where people can see the scarring.

"It is detrimental to the growth of our charity if this continues to be. It is a platform to raise awareness of a sensitive subject. It can give someone so much hope if they see our work.

"It's not nudity. We're trying to make a positive impact.

"Instagram helps us to connect to other cancer survivors and groups across the UK, we use it as a directory.

"Why is there so much shame around a nipple? Men, women, children and animals have them.

"This censorship is honestly beginning to shame this empowering service and the brave ladies who agree to share their imagery online.

"We only ever post tattoos that look very much like nipples too so it really is quite ridiculous, our followers and beneficiaries also feel our frustrations too and try to help or speak up on our behalf where they can."

A Facebook Company spokesman said: “Every day we're inspired by charities like The Nipple Innovation Project using our platforms to raise awareness for important causes.

Images of post-mastectomy scarring and reconstruction are allowed on Instagram - this content was removed in error and has now been restored

The company says nudity is not allowed on Instagram, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring, where the nipples are censored by blurring, are allowed on the site.