pte20211005013 media/communication, medicine/wellness
The platform, which has been heavily criticized, admits to not implementing the guidelines
Instagram: Bans are often allowed to move on (Photo: Solen Feyissa, unsplash.com)
NEW YORK (pte013 / 05.10.2021 / 10:30) – ‘I should be skinny’, ‘Forever hungry’: These and similar accounts suggested Instagram algorithms for a 13-year-old girl who showed an interest in losing weight and dieting. And “CNN” reported, quoting Senator Richard Blumenthal, whose team noticed this. Such sites glorifying eating disorders actually violate Instagram’s guidelines and shouldn’t be allowed, the news channel affiliate Facebook has admitted.
Much hungry fan
Senator Blumenthal and his team created the account, presumably belonging to a 13-year-old, to get an idea of how well or poorly Instagram protects young people from potentially harmful content. As a test, they followed some narratives about diets and those that glorify eating disorders (which are actually not allowed). Within a short time, the algorithms were suggesting more and more similar sites. For a selection of five questionable accounts, with whom CNN switched to Instagram, the platform confirmed that they violated the platform’s guidelines.
A spokesperson for parent company Facebook said: “We don’t allow content that promotes or encourages eating disorders, and we’ve removed accounts shared with us because they violate these rules.” It is claimed that in addition to user reports, technology is also used to instantly find and remove relevant content. When CNN repeated Blumenthal’s experience with her own demo account, the 13-year-old was soon presented various accounts with the word “skinny” in the name — a term used for years in glorifying eating disorders. The anorexia movement is popular.
just the tip of the iceberg
Blumenthal told CNN Monday that his team’s experience shows very clearly that “Facebook’s claims to protect children or delete accounts that could put them at risk are nonsense.” They should represent only the tip of the iceberg. After all, the Wall Street Journal launched discoveries in September of this year, according to which Facebook should know exactly how much harm its platforms, especially Instagram, can do to young girls in particular – but perhaps not do much out of greed.
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