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Instagram to reassess how harassment policies, verification, and algorithms impact black users

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Instagram says it will reassess how harassment policies, verification, and algorithms impact black users

  • The platform will take a look at how many of its policies affect black users
  • Specifically it will look at harassment, verification process, and content 
  • Instagram says it will have news on the reassessment in the coming months 

Instagram says it will re-examine its policies on content distribution, verification, and moderation in light of recent protests against racial injustice.

In a statement this week, Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri, announced the company’s intentions, saying that it will attempt to prioritize ‘black voices’ on its platform. 

‘The irony that we’re a platform that stands for elevating Black voices, but at the same time Black people are often harassed, afraid of being ‘shadowbanned’, and disagree with many content takedowns, is not lost on me,’ Mosseri wrote. 

‘This is a moment when people around the world are rightfully demanding actions over words, and we owe the same to our community.’

Instagram will take a look at how its policies and technology affect black users and creators using its platform (stock)

Instagram will take a look at how its policies and technology affect black users and creators using its platform (stock)

Instagram says it will break down its policy revamp to focus on four separate issues.

Among them are how harassment policies affect people of color specifically and whether it has any ‘gaps’ in enforcement.

Instagram will also look at its verification process and whether its criteria for awarding verified accounts is ‘favoring some groups more than others.’

Additionally, the platform will look at how content is distributed on its platform, both from an algorithmic standpoint and through its Explore interface and hashtagging. 

In the same vein, Instagram says it will look at its own algorithm as well – specifically whether it has a racial bias in promoting white creators or content made by white people over people of color.

‘Some technologies risk repeating the patterns developed by our biased societies,’ writes Instagram in a post.

‘While we do a lot of work to help prevent subconscious bias in our products, we need to take a harder look at the underlying systems we’ve built, and where we need to do more to keep bias out of these decisions.’

Instagram didn’t provide a concrete timeline for when to expect the results of its revamp, but said that it will update users in the next few months. 

The move to address Instagram policies comes after TikTok announced several initiatives aimed at reexamining how black creators are treated on its platform.

Specifically, TikTok formed a ‘creator diversity council’ which will apparently attempt to promote creators of color, and also revamp technology behind its appeals and moderation process.

The company also said it will donate $1 million toward ‘fighting the racial injustice and inequality that we are witnessing in this country’ but didn’t specify where the money would be donated. 



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