Instagram is under fire for rolling out a survey that asks ‘a random assortment of people’ about their race and ethnicity, as some people speculate it is a way for the government to quietly conduct mass race surveys.
However, the Meta-owned platform said Thursday that the data will help them better understand how different communities use the platform and how its technology may impact different groups.
A pop-up will appear in the app that leads to the optional survey hosted by YouGov, which will encrypt and split submissions into parts before storing them at research institutions.
In the blog post, Instagram notes it will only have access to aggregated information, meaning it ‘can’t connect people or their Instagram accounts to their individual responses.’
However, it seems the social media’s promise is not enough to earn the public’s trust – some shared their frustrations on Twitter saying ‘do not be fooled.’
And some may not fault the public for being skeptical of Instagram’s motives, as it was ranked the number app in 2021 that shares user data with third parties and Facebook came trolling behind in second.
‘Welcome to woke racism, when our own Gov, sworn in allegiance to our Equality before God, partners with the far left employees of Instagram to conduct mass race surveys. I hope you know what’s coming in Nov Dems,’ reads a tweet shared by the user Pyramadis.
A pop-up will appear in the app that leads to the optional survey hosted by YouGov, which will encrypt and split submissions into parts before storing them at research institutions
Another user, by the name of Paresh Vyas, tweeted: ‘ALERT !!! Instagram will begin to ask questions to users about Race & Ethnicity . Is It because they don’t want white conservative users ? DO NOT BE DECEIVED.’
However, other users are not faced by the survey and are more concerned with the fact that Instagram is ‘trying to be like TikTok,’ which was a statement also made by Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian Tuesday.
Regardless of what people think about the survey, Instagram appears to be excited to learn more from different communities and is working with Texas Southern University, University of Central Florida, Northeastern University, and Oasis Labs as partner research institutions.
Instagram hopes this uncovers any necessary changes needed to promote fairness.
However, it seems the social media’s promise is not enough to earn the public’s trust. One users thinks Instagram and the government are in cohorts to collect a mass race survey
‘For example, the analysis we conduct with this information might help us better understand experiences different communities may have when it comes to how we rank content,’ reads the blog post shared on Thursday.
Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri shared a video about the survey on his accounting, saying if the company is going to promise its users fairness, it needs to understand how the app is working for its users.
Another tweet jokes that the move could be detrimental in the future
Another Twitter user warns the public not to be deceived by Instagram
However, other users are not faced by the survey and are more concerned with the fact that Instagram is ‘trying to be like TikTok,’ which was a statement also made by Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian Tuesday
‘We know that groups that have been historically marginalized disproportionately contribute to creativity, toward pushing culture forward,’ Mosseri said. ‘
So it’s in our interest to make sure that Instagram is as great an experience as it can be for all communities, for all individuals, no matter how identify.’
Instagram has made moves in the last two year to put a stop of the racism running rampant on its platform.
In 2020, Instagram established an ‘Equity Team,’ to address concerns from Black and POC creators on the platform and study algorithmic biases.
More recently in February 2021, the platform announced it would crack down on online abuse by removing accounts that send racist messages and prevent abusers from creating new profiles in the wake of a spate of sickening racist attacks on footballers.
In February 2021, Instagram announced it would crack down on online abuse by removing accounts that send racist messages and prevent abusers from creating new profiles in the wake of a spate of sickening racist attacks on footballers, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial
Manchester United and England player Lauren James was also racially abused on Instagram
Manchester United players Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe and Lauren James are among those to have been subjected to racism on social media in the last fortnight alone.
A man was arrested during that period after Romaine Sawyers was sent what West Brom called an ‘abhorrent message’, while Chelsea full-back Reece James – brother of Lauren – was sent vile abuse via an Instagram direct message.
Instagram does not use technology to proactively detect content within private messages but it has announced new measures, including removing abusive accounts, in a bid to reduce the abuse people get in direct messages.
Facebook content policy manager Fadzai Madzingira said: ‘I am horrified that they have to deal with that sort of abuse and as a company we take it very seriously.
‘We’ve always had rules around people who abuse our community standards in Instagram direct messaging, specifically.
‘Currently we will set a specific ban or what we call a block for a set amount of time when someone violates those rules and we extend that time should they continue to do so.
‘What we’re announcing today is that we’re taking tougher measures on people who violate those rules in Instagram direct messaging, so instead of just extending the time, we’ll be removing the accounts altogether.