Adam Mosseri lists the work done by the team at Instagram to upgrade functioning with respect to ensuring equity on the platform.
Acknowledging that people are turning to Instagram to raise awareness for the racial, civic and social causes they care about, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram took to writing a blog post listing the progress they have made so far in and the road ahead in regards to the equity work being done by the organisation. It includes creating a new equity team, steps against harassment and hate on the platform, expansion of media sources considered to evaluate a user’s notability for verification and reiteration of transparency in the recommendations system.
New equity team
Instagram is creating a dedicated product group, Instagram Equity team, which will focus on better understanding and addressing the bias in product development and people’s experiences on Instagram. They will work with Facebook’s Responsible team to ensure algorithmic fairness and create fair and equitable products.
Harassment and hate
As a means to tackle certain kinds of implicit hate speech such as content depicting blackface, or stereotypes about Jewish people, Instagram has updated its policies. They have also strengthened enforcements against people who make serious rape threats. The platform will not be disabling any account that makes them as soon as they made aware, rather than just removing the content. Instagram is also expanding comment warnings to include comments in Live, where people will be asked to reconsider comments that might be offensive before they’re posted.
After reviewing Instagram’s verification practices for about two months, the platform has started making changes to ensure a fairer process. Notability, which is measured through press articles about a person applying for verification, is an important criterion and thus, Instagram has expanded the list to include more Black, LGBTQ+, and Latinx media. The platform has also removed the automated aspect of follower count being considered in the verification process.