Instagram has been known for its flagging posts and account feature, and recently, there has been an increase in different posts being removed. Even whole accounts are being banned. Amidst all the information and backlash that the company has faced due to its change, there is a possibility that Instagram might work towards ensuring that posts with any kind of hate speech or bullying content might get disappeared from some users’ feeds.
Instagram has planned to add a new feature, according to which, any post which could include mention of hate speech, instances of bullying, or the possibility of inciting violence would be disappeared. That is not to say the post would be removed. Instead, Instagram would automatically ensure that the post goes lower in the account’s followers’ feed.
This new idea will be carried on by the famous Instagram algorithm. However, instead of relying completely on technology as Instagram has often done in the past, they are making an active choice to go against it. Often, reports have risen that show that the posts Instagram has flagged and downplayed with hate speech were accounts of activists. Moreso, the account has even been banned in the process. Therefore, to not make the same mistake shortly, social media has taken an active decision to ensure that instead of deleting any such negative posts, they would merely ensure that the post is lower on people’s feed. By downranking the content, they take care that a person’s post is not deleted. At the same time, any suspicious content with malicious intent would not reach a wider audience.
The algorithm would pick up on previous patterns by the user and check if the new content has the same applications as before. Their goal is not to completely remove any harmful content from the system, but to make the selecting post system as accurate as possible.
This would be further examined by Instagram by taking into account what kind of content the followers like. In case a user has previously reported some content, they will ensure that they do not see such content again. Any person with a history of reporting the content will have flagged posts downplayed on their feed.
Instagram has revealed that its purpose here is not to stop people from expressing their views, but rather to limit posts that could make people feel unsafe or upset. At the same time, it must be noted that many people may 8ppose the decision due to Instagram’s history of banning activist groups. One of the criticisms that the company has had to face is that they do not actually ban the groups spewing hate speech but instead 3nd up banning people speaking against them.
A counterargument presented by Instagram is that this change would only affect the posts, not the user’s argument. Keeping that in mind, they are working on fixing their algorithm.
Instagram has long been a space of complete expression. With that in mind, there is much need to change the algorithm as and when it suits the people’s needs. Therefore, only speculations can be made as to what this change would reflect in Instagram’s growing follower list.
Following the recent scandal of Metaverse, this kind of change is also important for the security of their user base. Thus, in the end, by introducing this new feature, the company intends to make Instagram a safer space for all its users. The actual outcome would only be assured once this has been implemented.