Responding to accusations of racial injustice, Instagram is committing to better supporting the “black community” within its organization and on its platform.
“We’re … hearing concern about whether we suppress Black voices and whether our products and policies treat everyone equally,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri admits in a new post.
The commitments come amid a fast-evolving civil-rights movement sparked by the killing of George Floyd last month.
Among other specific pledges, Mosseri has vowed to examine safety issues that black people experience on Instagram and in their everyday lives.
“Then we need to address potential gaps in how our products and policies protect people from those issues,” Mosseri said.
Under Mosseri’s leadership, Instagram will also examine its current verification criteria, then make changes with an eye on greater demographic inclusivity.
The Facebook unit will shortly begin reviewing how content is filtered on its Explore and Hashtag pages to order to better understand where there may be a vulnerability to bias.
Mosseri admitted Instagram needs to be clearer about how decisions are made when it comes to how users’ posts get distributed.
“Over the years, we’ve heard these concerns sometimes described across social media as ‘shadow banning’ … filtering people without transparency, and limiting their reach as a result,” he sad. “Soon, we’ll be releasing more information about the types of content we avoid recommending on Explore and other places.”
More broadly, Mosseri acknowledged that technology and digital platforms like Instagram are more than capable of perpetuating the racial biases of their creators.
“While we do a lot of work to help prevent subconscious bias in our products, we need to take a harder look at the underlying systems we’ve built, and where we need to do more to keep bias out of these decisions,” he said.