Instagram’s Head Shares Updates About The Company’s Equity Work, You Will No Longer Get A Verified Badge On Instagram Based On Your Follower Count

Back in June of this year, in an attempt to elevate Black voices on Instagram, the Facebook-owned social media platform announced that it would review its platform regarding harassment and verification policies and how Instagram recommends content to users. Now, the social media platform has some noteworthy updates on Instagram’s reformation efforts. In a post published on Sep 9, Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri wrote that the company is seeing a major shift in the way people use the app amid the coronavirus pandemic, increasing racial tensions, and the upcoming United States Presidential election.

The company has created a new Equity Team that is going to focus on better understanding as well as addressing bias in Instagram’s product development and experiences of people on the platform, Mosseri explained in the post. This dedicated product group will also focus to create fair and equitable products which include operating with Instagram’s Responsible Artificial Intelligence team to ensure the fairness of Instagram’s algorithm. Additionally, this team will also develop new features that would respond to the needs of underserved communities on the platform. The social media platform also plans to hire a new Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

Furthermore, Instagram has developers and updated several policies to support communities across the globe. The company has updated its policies to account for specific sorts of implicit hate speech including stereotypes related to Jewish people as well as content depicting blackface. Instagram will now disable those accounts that make serious rape threats and will ensure that ‘involuntary public figures’ on the platform are protected against bullying and harassment. The platform has already removed 23 hate organizations, and it is worth noting that more than half of these banned organizations were run by white supremacists.

Adam Mosseri also wrote in the post that the company has made some changes for content creators as well as businesses. Now, users with Creator and Business accounts will be able to manage who can contact them on the platform. Moreover, Instagram’s comment warning has been expanded to include comments on Instagram Live. Mosseri said that the company spent the last two months reviewing the verification policies of the platform and has updated the practices to ensure a fairer verification process. For getting a verified badge, an account should meet a specific criteria including a degree of notability, and Mosseri also said that Instagram will no longer consider the follower count of an account while determining verification eligibility of an account.

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