A recent CCHR reveals Instagram’s huge failure to protect women in private messages. While the platform had promised to filter out hate messages, only 1 in 10 is actually moderated before reaching its recipient. The rest of the time, women expose themselves to insulting, vulgar, or even misogynistic remarks.
The moderation has always been the sinews of war for social networks, as it is possible to let shocking and hateful content slip through the cracks. The same goes for the mental health of users, many of whom are victims of cyber harassment. Recently, Instagram has therefore made some efforts in this direction, in particular by hiding abusive messages at the bottom of the news feed. But that is not enough: we must also act on private messages.
Aware of the issue, Instagram therefore announced in April 2021 that private messages will be automatically filtered, in order to avoid letting insults and other offensive words pass. A real breakthrough for the social network… if it proves to be effective. A recent study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) proves the opposite. According to his observations, 90% of hate messages reach their recipient without any ounce of moderation. Similarly, 90% of the accounts that sent these messages were not deleted.
Instagram fails to protect women from hate speech
To arrive at this observation, the CCDH studied the private messages of five women recognized on the social network, counting a total of 4.8 million subscribers. The latter are Amber Heard, Rachel Riley, Jamie Klingler, Bryony Gordon and Sharan Dhaliwal. The conclusion is therefore without appeal. Of the 8,717 messages analyzed, 6.6% did not respect Instagram’s T&Cs. 125 intimate photos were sent to the women, which incidentally were not deleted within 48 hours. Additionally, 1 in 7 voicemails contain hate speech.
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The question of impunity then arises. According to the CCDH, it is good the lack of penalties from Instagram which allows the authors of these messages to perpetuate their actions. Therefore, women are forced to protect themselves, or at least try to, against the flood of inappropriate messages they receive. For her part, Meta recognizes that the harassment of women is unacceptable. Without recognizing its protection gaps.
Source : CCHR