Instagram Head Is Heavily Criticised Online For Careless Analogy About Cars & Social Media Security

Instagram's head, Adam Mosserri, has recently come under a barrage of criticism, aimed at some irrational and careless comments made over social media safety.

Shoddy opinions are in and of themselves a currency. It is only rather recently in the internet's history that movements such as cancel culture and the like have started holding the authors of such comments responsible for the message they're sending out into the world. While cancel culture itself is a completely different behemoth that warrants an entire article of its own, criticism is still completely fair game. It's like the expression goes, "play stupid games, win stupid prizes." This author's just surprised at the number of people that decided to take said expression as a challenge instead of a warning.

So, what's Instagram's role in this? Well, Adam Mosserri, the current head of Instagram, recently made an analogy, comparing social media to cars. To paraphrase his exact quote, stated in an appearance on the Recode Media podcast, the presence of cars is responsible for killing more people than their absence. However, we still keep them around due to their use. Social media, in Mosserri's eyes, works with the same concept.

First of all, we should establish a general rule across the internet: only use analogies when the end result of said usage doesn't devalue literal human lives. Using the analogies of lollipops and locks and keys to define intricate concepts such as freedom of dressing and intimacy is downright asinine. But this author digresses. Mosserri's analogy drew much online criticism, not simply based on his "intellectual" reasoning, but also because the analogy simply doesn't work. Cars are a very heavily regulated industry in most parts of the world, with security systems being properly integrated, and accidental deaths being severely minimized as a result. The harm that social media causes, on the other hand, has no limit to it.

Despite it having been months since the incident, the 2021 US Capitol Riot are etched into everyone's minds. It represents a horrid attack on freedom and liberty, from the likes of racists and supremacists. Worst of all, much of the planning for said incident occurred on Facebook, Instagram's sister platform. In general, both platforms have been heavily criticized for featuring content of a racist and personally derogatory nature. Even, just recently, Instagram was criticized from industry experts for being one of the top reasons for teens' low self-esteem. The big reason is that social media is not a widely governed space, and therefore its harm is much more widespread than the analogy of cars.

Even using the analogy of people dying for the greater good is shady, to say the very least. Trying to make your company look good by drawing on the examples of individuals that died in horrific accidents is hardly a smart move. Truly, an Eat the Rich moment if there ever was one.

Photo: Dado Ruvic / reuters

Read next: Data Shows Facebook-owned Instagram faced the most internet outages among all the social media platforms
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