Instagram has become an increasingly important source of revenue for Facebook since it was acquired in 2012. The photo-sharing app is estimated to have accounted for 31% of Facebook's new ad revenue in Q3 2018, up from 9% in Q1 2017, according to KeyB...
instagram, content, moderation, solution
Instagram has become an increasingly important source of revenue for Facebook since it was acquired in 2012. The photo-sharing app is estimated to have accounted for 31% of Facebook's new ad revenue in Q3 2018, up from 9% in Q1 2017, according to KeyBanc, per Recode. And Instagram has largely avoided the criticisms of fostering hate content that have plagued its parent — until recently.
A search for the word "Jews" showed nearly 12,000 posts with the hashtag "#jewsdid911," implying that Jews organized the September 11 terror attacks, per The New York Times. Meanwhile, Instagram has also recently harbored far-right personalities that post hateful content and who have been banned from other platforms like Twitter, per The Daily Beast.
Instagram risks driving away its valuable millennial and Gen Z user base if hateful content becomes more visible on the platform.Seventy-two percent of US teens ages 13 to 17 say they use Instagram, while 64% of US adults ages 18-29 say they use the platform, per Pew Research Center. Some of these younger users — who are coveted among advertisers, as the group is difficult to reach via traditional media — could feel less safe using Instagram after the recent reports from The New York Times and The Daily Beast, for example.
And users feeling unsafe on Instagram would spell bad news for brands advertising on the platform — 48% of respondents said the degree of safety they feel on a given platform is either very or extremely impactful on their decision to interact with ads and sponsored content, per our 2018 Digital Trust Survey. If these new findings result in users ditching or otherwise disengaging with the platform, Instagram's position as Facebook's golden child could be tarnished.
The platform's content moderation troubles won't be fixed overnight, but Facebook has previously hinted at a more comprehensive solution to fight hate speech.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested that it could be possible for AI tools to help automatically detect hate speech on Facebook in 5-10 years during his testimony before Congress in April, per Quartz.
This technology could be applied to Instagram to help detect hateful posts that are text-heavy on the platform. For now, users must rely on content moderators and things like Instagram's tool that helps filter hateful comments from posts. These efforts clearly don't go far enough yet, but Instagram's social dominance likely affords it time to refine its fight against hate speech.