Instagram to demote posts promoting offensive and sexually explicit content

Joanna Estrada
April 14, 2019

Yesterday, Instagram announced that it will now demote the content promoting inappropriate content.

The company will also expand fact-checking features for images, add privacy features to Messenger, and do more to take action on posts, images, hashtags and other content or behaviour that it calls "borderline" - material or actions that don't technically violate the company's rules but can lead to harmful outcomes. But users will see less of these posts moving forward as Instagram cracks down on content that violates its community guidelines. It will do so by not recommending them in the Explore Tab. If a post is sexually suggestive, even though it doesn't feature sexual activity or nudity, it could still get demoted.

Likewise, if a post does not meet the hate speech or harassment norms of the company, but is considered to be in bad taste, hurtful and violent, it will fetch lesser views.

Precisely, Facebook owned Instagram says at Menlo Park headquarters, that this type of content may not appear for hashtag pages or for the broader community in Explore, these types of things severely hurt the capability of designers to get new followers. "We use a variety of signals, for example, if an account has recently gone against our Community Guidelines, to determine which posts and accounts can be recommended to the community".

Can We Trust Machine Learning?

While Instagram has provided a brief outline of the changes, content creators have few insights on how to navigate the new policy.

Guy Rosen, the Vice President of Integrity and Tessa Lyons, the Head of News Feed Integrity of Facebook declared their plans for the future in a blog post that they have made it a conscious attempt to reduce the mounting number of posts that are inappropriate and do not go against the Community Guidelines of Instagram. Such a policy could easily extend to Instagram at some point.

From the looks of it, Facebook is doing its best in order to ensure that Instagram remains a photo-sharing platform and that it doesn't get overrun by bots.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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