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Instagram to Review Whether Its Policies Affect the Black Community

Instagram will review whether its policies and products affect the Black community to help build a more inclusive product.

Instagram’s top executive Adam Mosseri said in a blog post that Instagram is “taking a harder look” at how the social media platform deals with harassment, verification, content distribution, and algorithmic bias, and is taking steps to “better support the Black community.”

After hearing concern about whether or not the platform suppresses Black voices and whether products and policies treat everyone equally, Mosseri said they will look at key areas of potential concern for how the platform impacts the Black community.

“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 outlined in the statement.

According to Mosseri, Instagram is looking at “safety issues” affecting Black users and the need to “address potential gaps in how our products and policies protect people from those issues.”

Account verification will also be considered to “ensure it’s as inclusive as possible.” In addition, the platform will also review how content is filtered on Explore and Hashtag pages to “understand where there may be vulnerability to bias.” On top of that, Mosseri outlined they “need to be clearer about how decisions are made when it comes to how people’s posts get distributed.”

Finally, they will take a harder look at algorithmic bias, stating that “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.”

After reviewing how the policies and products affect Black users, Instagram will also look at how to better serve other underrepresented groups to build a more inclusive product.

Updates will be released over the next few months about what they learn and what they address.

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