Melon Farmers Original Version

Instagram Censorship


Photo sharing website gets heavy on the censorship


 

Blocked words...

Instagram extends its option for users to block message requests containing banned words


Link Here23rd October 2022

Since launching Hidden Words last year, more than one in five people with large followings have turned on the feature, giving them a powerful tool to automatically filter harmful content from their comments and message requests. We've seen that Hidden Words has been really effective at keeping people safe. When people turn on Hidden Words for comments, on average, they see 40% fewer comments that might be offensive.

We want to help more creators benefit from this protection, so we're starting to test automatically turning on Hidden Words for Creator accounts . Everyone will continue to be able to turn these settings on or off at any time and build a custom list with additional words, phrases, and emojis they may want to hide.

We're also continuing to improve Hidden Words to offer more protections, including:

  • Expanding Hidden Words to cover Story replies, so offensive replies from people you don't follow will be sent to your Hidden Requests folder and you never have to see them.

  • Supporting new languages, including Farsi, Turkish, Russian, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, and Tamil.

  • Improving our filtering to spot and hide more intentional misspellings of offensive terms, for instance, if someone uses a "1" instead of an "i".

  • Adding new terms to filter message requests that might contain scams or spam. We'll start doing this in English in certain countries, with more languages and countries coming soon.

 

 

The lesser option...

Instagram steps down the content feed for new young teen users


Link Here26th August 2022

Last summer, we launched the Sensitive Content Control so people could choose how much or how little sensitive content to see in Explore from accounts they don't follow.

The Sensitive Content Control has three options, which we've renamed from when we first introduced the control to help explain what each option does. The three options are: More, Standard and Less.

Standard is the default state, and will prevent people from seeing some sensitive content and accounts. More enables people to see more sensitive content and accounts, whereas Less means they see less of this content than the default state. For people under the age of 18, the More option is unavailable.

The Sensitive Content Control has only two options for teens: Standard and Less. New teens on Instagram under 16 years old will be defaulted into the Less state. For teens already on Instagram, we will send a prompt encouraging them to select the Less experience.

This will make it more difficult for young people to come across potentially sensitive content or accounts in Search, Explore, Hashtag Pages, Reels, Feed Recommendations and Suggested Accounts.

In addition, we are testing a new way to encourage teens to update their safety and privacy settings. We'll show prompts asking teens to review their settings including: controlling who can reshare their content, who can message and contact them, what content they can see and how they can manage their time spent on Instagram.

 

 

The age of ID...

Instagram introduces 2 new ways for age verification


Link Here23rd June 2022

Instagram is testing new options for people on Instagram to verify their age, starting with people based in the US. If someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from under the age of 18 to 18 or over, we'll require them to verify their age using one of three options: upload their ID, record a video selfie or ask mutual friends to verify their age. We're testing this so we can make sure teens and adults are in the right experience for their age group. We are also partnering with Yoti, a company that specializes in online age verification, to help ensure people's privacy.

In 2019, we began asking people to provide their age when signing up for Instagram. Since then, we've made this a requirement. Knowing people's age allows us to provide appropriate experiences to different age groups, specifically teens.

We require people to be at least 13 years old to sign up for Instagram. In some countries, our minimum age is higher. When we know if someone is a teen (13-17), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don't know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads.

In addition to having someone upload their ID, we're testing two new ways to verify a person's age:

Video Selfie: You can choose to upload a video selfie to verify your age. If you choose this option, you'll see instructions on your screen to guide you. After you take a video selfie, we share the image with Yoti, and nothing else. Yoti's technology estimates your age based on your facial features and shares that estimate with us. Meta and Yoti then delete the image. The technology cannot recognize your identity 203 just your age.

Social Vouching: This option allows you to ask mutual followers to confirm how old you are. The person vouching must be at least 18 years old, must not be vouching for anyone else at that time and will need to meet other safeguards we have in place. The three people you select to vouch for you will receive a request to confirm your age and will need to respond within three days.

You will still be able to upload your ID to verify your age with forms of identification like a driver's license or ID card. We will use your ID to confirm your age and help keep our community safe. Your ID will be stored securely on our servers and is deleted within 30 days.

 

 

No linking...

Instagram introduces a new sanction for users that break its censorship rules


Link Here20th October 2021
Instagram has started showing some users a popup message explaining that it will soon take away their ability to post links stickers, which many creators use to send their followers to other sites, digital stores, and platforms where they can make money.

Instagram doesn't allow adult content on its platform, but many adult content creators use it for promotional reasons, inviting their Instagram audience to follow them to other platforms or personal sites.

Link stickers are an option where users can add an external link to their photo or video. In August, Instagram removed the ability to link and send users off platform by swipe-up on a story and replaced it with a sticker, a small clickable icon that hovers over the image.

The Instagram popup warns:

Starting October 25, you will no longer have access to the link sticker because you have shared content that violates our Community Guidelines, the message said. There is no option to appeal this decision, only an OK button and a link to the Community Guidelines. Screenshot of the Instagram notification.

An Instagram spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement:

As part of our efforts to limit the spread of harmful content that violates our Community Guidelines, we'll restrict people who have repeatedly or severely violated these policies from using the link sticker. However, we're investigating an issue where people may have mistakenly been notified that they will be restricted, and we're working on resolving this as soon as possible.

 

 

Short lived stories...

44 US states call for an end to Instagram's idea to introduce a version for under 13s


Link Here13th May 2021
44 US states have come out against Instagram's idea for version of the social networking site for under 13s.

In an open letter, the National Association of Attorneys General called on Facebook to abandon plans for an Instagram platform focused on children under the age of 13. The letter is signed by 44 different state-level attorneys generals. The attourneys said:

It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account, the letter reads. The attorneys general urge Facebook to abandon its plans to launch this new platform.

While the letter has no formal legal power, it emphasizes the significant legal risk Facebook will face in undertaking the project. In the US, children under 13 are subject to enhanced legal protections under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (or COPPA), which places particularly stringent rules against data collection.

Facebook said it would not sell ads on any Instagram app targeted at young children but did not back off on its interest in developing the app.

 

 

Instagrans...

Miserable moralists from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood complain about Facebook's idea of an Instagram for kids


Link Here16th April 2021
A moralist campaign group called the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood wants Facebook to scrap its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children.

A letter from the group, signed by 99 individuals and groups including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Global Action Plan and Kidscape, claims that the image-obsessed platform is dangerous for children's health and privacy.

In the letter, the signatories point out that those under the age of 13 already on Instagram are unlikely to abandon it for a new site that seems babyish. The real target of Instagram for kids will be much younger children. Josh Golin, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood executive director, said:

Instagram's business model relies on extensive data collection, maximising time on devices, promoting a culture of over-sharing and idolising influencers, as well as a relentless focus on often altered physical appearance. It is certainly not appropriate for seven-year olds.

Plans for an Instagram for under-13s have been mooted in recent weeks. Facebook, which owns Instagram, said it would be managed by parents. It is a response to state censors who want under 13's to be banned from social media. Facbeook explained:

Kids are already online, and want to connect with their family and friends, have fun, and learn. We want to help them do that in a safe and age-appropriate way, and find practical solutions to the ongoing industry problem of kids lying about their age to access apps.

We're working on new age verification methods to keep under-13s off Instagram, and have just started exploring an Instagram experience for kids that is age-appropriate and managed by parents.

We agree that any experience we develop must prioritise their safety and privacy, and we will consult with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates to inform it. We also won't show ads in any Instagram experience we develop for people under the age of 13.

 

 

Holding up progress...

Instagram updates its censorship policy ro allow pictures of women holding their breasts


Link Here27th October 2020
Instagram has announced it will be introducing a new nudity policy this week, which will now allow pictures of women holding, cupping or wrapping their arms around their breasts.

Instagram said the change was prompted by a campaign by Nyome Nicholas-Williams, a Black British plus-sized model, who had accused the Facebook-owned company of removing images showing her covering her breasts with her arms due to racial biases in its algorithm.

According to Thomson Reuters, Instagram apologized last month to Nicholas-Williams and said it would update its policy, amid global concern over racism in technology following the global Black Lives Matter protests this year.

 

 

Instagram to block LGBT conversion therapy...

But doesn't the transgender journey convert a gay person into a straight person?


Link Here 10th July 2020
Instagram will block the promotion of conversion therapy, which tries to change a person's sexuality or gender identity.

Campaigners are urging the government to act now on a two-year-old promise to make the practice illegal. This year, 200,000 people have signed an online petition calling for action.

In 2018, the government announced that gay conversion therapies were to be banned as part of a government plan to improve the lives of gay and transgender people, but activists note that such a ban has not been initiated. The government has since said it will consider all options for ending the practice.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Tara Hopkins, EMEA public policy director, Instagram, said the company is changing the way it handles conversion therapy content:

We don't allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services. We are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.

Earlier this year, Instagram banned the promotion of conversion therapy in ads. From Friday, any content linked to it will now be banned across the platform.

 

 

Bullying people into toeing the PC line...

Instagram thinks that its AI systems can recognise bullying captions


Link Here 19th December 2019
Instagram has launched a new censorship feature that uses AI to recognize potentially offensive language and warn you that you're about to post something that might be deemed 'problematic'.

The feature uses a machine learning algorithm that Instagram developed and tested to recognize different forms of bullying and provide a warning if and when a caption crosses that line.

The warning reads:

This caption looks similar to others that have been reported. From there, you can choose to either Edit the Caption, Learn More, or Share Anyway. If the AI mistake, you can report it by clicking Learn More:

The feature joins another AI-powered pop-up, released earlier this year, which warns users when their comments may be considered offensive.

Instagram said:

We've found that these types of nudges can encourage people to reconsider their words when given a chance. Additionally, Instagram hopes that the feature will be informative, helping educate people on what is and is not allowed.

The warning will roll out around the world in the next few months.

 

 

Be careful what you like!...

Instagram is considering the monstrosity of full identity verification for users


Link Here5th December 2019

Instagram is actively considering bringing in gambling app-style full identity verification in the name of  preventing underage children joining.

Vishal Shah, Instagram's head of product, said the social media site would not take asking new users to submit proof of age off the table as it looked at ways to tighten up how it verifies users' ages.

His comments come as Instagram announced it would now start asking all new members to give their date of birth when signing up. The social network also said it would soon start using the date of birth users had given on Facebook to verify ages on Instagram.

Currently, Instagram asks if new users are over or under 18, and then only asks for a date of birth for those who say they are 17 or younger.

Parent company Facebook said:

We understand not everyone will share their actual age. How best to collect and verify the age of people who use online services is something that the whole industry is exploring and we are committed to continuing to work with industry and governments to find the best solutions. Nobody will have their date of birth publicly displayed on their Instagram profile.

 

 

Offsite Article: Can't we campaign for less censorship for everyone!...


Link Here 9th November 2019
Guardian article calls for Instagram to ease up on censorship of a queer arts collective and anything not white average sized and CIS.

See article from theguardian.com

 

 

Next will be the problem of fake flags...

Instagram adds facility to flag posts as 'fake news'


Link Here 17th September 2019
Facebook has launched a new feature allowing Instagram users to flag posts they claim contain fake news to its fact-checking partners for vetting.

The move is part of a wider raft of measures the social media giant has taken to appease the authorities who claim that 'fake news' is the root of all social ills.

Launched in December 2016 following the controversy surrounding the impact of Russian meddling and online fake news in the US presidential election, Facebook's partnership now involves more than 50 independent 'fact-checkers' in over 30 countries .

The new flagging feature for Instagram users was first introduced in the US in mid-August and has now been rolled out globally.

Users can report potentially false posts by clicking or tapping on the three dots that appear in the top right-hand corner, selecting report, it's inappropriate and then false information.

No doubt the facility will be more likely to report posts that people don't like rather for 'false information'.

 

 

Offsite Article: Eye-catching shots of magnified body parts -- with a twist...


Link Here5th September 2019
Marius Sperlich's provocative pics are the antidote to Instagram censorship

See article from dazeddigital.com

 

 

Fake censorship...

Instagram to allow users to report 'fake news' but no doubt this will used to harass those with opposing views


Link Here18th August 2019
Instagram is adding an option for users to report posts they claim are false. The photo-sharing website is responding to increasing pressure to censor material that government's do not like.

Results then rated as false are removed from search tools, such as Instagram's explore tab and hashtag search results.

The new report facility on Instagram is being initially rolled out only in the US.

Stephanie Otway, a Facebook company spokeswoman Said:

This is an initial step as we work towards a more comprehensive approach to tackling misinformation.

Posting false information is not banned on any of Facebook's suite of social media services, but the company is taking steps to limit the reach of inaccurate information and warn users about disputed claims.

 

 

Instacensor...

Instagram adds another reason to ban users but promises better warnings of impending censorship and also a better appeal process


Link Here19th July 2019
Instagram explains in a blog post:

Under our existing policy, we disable accounts that have a certain percentage of violating content. We are now rolling out a new policy where, in addition to removing accounts with a certain percentage of violating content, we will also remove accounts with a certain number of violations within a window of time. Similarly to how policies are enforced on Facebook , this change will allow us to enforce our policies more consistently and hold people accountable for what they post on Instagram.

We are also introducing a new notification process to help people understand if their account is at risk of being disabled. This notification will also offer the opportunity to appeal content deleted. To start, appeals will be available for content deleted for violations of our nudity and pornography, bullying and harassment, hate speech, drug sales, and counter-terrorism policies, but we'll be expanding appeals in the coming months. If content is found to be removed in error, we will restore the post and remove the violation from the account's record. We've always given people the option to appeal disabled accounts through our Help Center , and in the next few months, we'll bring this experience directly within Instagram.

 

 

A snapshot of injustice...

US adult performers protest the injustice of Instagram who summarily remove accounts without warning, explanation, or right to appeal


Link Here20th June 2019
Dozens of adult performers have picketed outside of Instagram's Silicon Valley headquarters over censorship guidelines and the arbitrary inconsistent enforcement of the rules. They said that this has led to hundreds of thousands of account suspensions and is imperiling their livelihoods.

Adult performers led the protest on Wednesday, but other users including artists, sex workers, queer activists, sex education platforms and models say they have been affected by the platform's opaque removal system. The action was organized by the Adult Performer Actors Guild, the largest labor union for the adult film industry.

They were complaining in particular in the way that the company takes down accounts without warning or explanation and provide no real recourse or effective appeal system.

Amber Lynn, an American porn star based in Los Angeles, said her account was terminated without warning or explanation two months ago. She had more than 100,000 followers.

I sent [Instagram] multiple emails through my lawyer and they will still not tell me why they did it, she said. They do not answer you, do not give you an opportunity to correct any problems or even tell you what problems they had to begin with so you can avoid it in the future.

 

 

Offsite Article: Naked Art vs Naked Profit...


Link Here29th May 2019
The Photographers Fighting Instagram's Censorship of Nude Bodies. By Kelsey Ables

See article from artsy.net

 

 

Offsite Article: Instagram's Shadow Ban On Vaguely Inappropriate Content Is Plainly Sexist...


Link Here30th April 2019
The platform's new policy will disproportionately affect women and sex workers. By Jesselyn Cook

See article from huffpost.com

 

 

Cuts of meat...

Images of butchered meat are now defined as sensitive and liable to offend on Instagram


Link Here7th March 2019
A chef has criticised Instagram after it decided that a photograph she posted of two pigs' trotters and a pair of ears needed to be protected from 'sensitive' readers.

Olia Hercules, a writer and chef who regularly appears on Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Brunch , shared the photo alongside a caption in which she praised the quality and affordability of the ears and trotters before asking why the cuts had fallen out of favour with people in the UK.

However Hercules later discovered that the image had been censored by the photo-sharing app with a warning that read: Sensitive content. This photo contains sensitive content which some people may find offensive or disturbing.

Hercules hit back at the decision on Twitter, condemning Instagram and the general public for becoming detached from reality.

 

 

Shoddy Instaban...

Instagram apologises for its censorship of a gay kiss


Link Here2nd July 2018
Instagram has apologised for censoring a photo of two men kissing for violating community guidelines.

The photo - featuring Jordan Bowen and Luca Lucifer - was taken down from photographer Stella Asia Consonni's Instagram.

A spokesperson for the image sharing site regurgitated the usual apology for shoddy censorship saying

This post was removed in error and we are sorry. It has since been reinstated.

The photo was published in i-D magazine as part of a series of photos by Stella exploring modern relationships, which she plans to exhibit later this year. It only reappeared after prominent people in fashion and LGBT+ rights raised awareness about the removal of the photo.

 

 

Sneaky tricks...

Instagram is trying to inform posters that their post has been saved, snapped or recorded before it self destructs


Link Here13th February 2018
Some users have reported seeing pop ups in Instagram (IG) informing them that, from now on, Instagram will be flagging when you record or take a screenshot of other people's IG stories and informing the originator that you have rsnapped or ecorded the post.

According to a report by Tech Crunch , those who have been selected to participate in the IG trial can see exactly who has been creeping and snapping their stories. Those who have screenshotted an image or recorded a video will have a little camera shutter logo next to their usernames, much like Snapchat.

Of course, users have already found a nifty workaround to avoid social media stalking exposure. So here's the deal: turning your phone on airplane mode after you've loaded the story and then taking your screenshot means that users won't be notified of any impropriety (sounds easy for Instagram to fix this by saving the keypress until the next time it communicates with the Instagram server). You could also download the stories from Instagram's website or use an app like Story Reposter. Maybe PC users just need another small window on the desktop, then move the mouse pointer to the small window before snapping the display.

Clearly, there's concerns on Instagram's part about users' content being shared without their permission, but if the post is shared with someone for viewing, it is pretty tough to stop then from grabbing a copy for themselves as they view it.

 

 

Offsite Article: Instagramcensorship...


Link Here18th April 2017
The Official Full List of Hashtags Banned From Instagram

See article from bet.com

 

 

Update: Banning words: a thinspirational response...

Study finds that it doesn't take long for the wit of man to dream up new words to replace those banned by Instagram


Link Here 13th March 2016
A scientific study has found that Instagram' s decision to ban certain words linked to pro-anorexia posts may have actually made the problem worse.

The study, conducted by a team at Georgia Tech, found that the censoring of terms like 'thighgap, thinspiration and secretsociety, commonly used by anorexia sufferers, initially caused a decrease in use.

However, they found that users adapted by simply making up new, almost identical words to get around Instagram's moderation, often by altering spellings to create terms like thygap and thynspooo .

Instagram's censoring of pro-eating disorder (ED) content began in 2012, when they began limiting what users could see when searching for certain terms.

Some terms, like #thinspiration, simply return no results when searched for in the app. Other terms, like #thin, are still searchable, but users first have to read a message warning them about the content and directing them towards ED support services before they can see any pictures.

The researchers believe that by accidentally prompting the creation of these terms, Instagram polarised the vulnerable pro-ED community and actually increased how much members engaged with the content. Munmun De Choudury, an assistant professor at the school, said: Likes and coments on these new tags were 15 to 30 per cent higher than the originals.

 

 

Update: A Censorial Image...

Instagram updates its censorship rules


Link Here18th April 2015
Instagram has updated its censorship rules to give users more insight into how it polices content on its site. Nicky Jackson Colaco, director of public policy for Instagram said:

We're not changing any of the policies. But the company has added in detail around questions we've gotten over and over, and into places where [users] needed more information.

Parent company, Facebook also updated censorship rules several weeks ago. And many of the policies outlined in Instagram's latest guidelines are the same as the one's Facebook explained in its latest rewrite. These include specific prohibitions against messages that support or praise terrorism an or hate groups, serious threats of harm to public or private safety and clear statements against abuse of all kinds. Rules common to both websites say:

We remove content that contains credible threats or hate speech, content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them, personal information meant to blackmail or harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages.

On the question of nudity, Instagram says that nudity in general-- and pornography specifically -- is off-limits. But photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed, the guidelines say, Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.

 

 

Update: Cheapo Censors at Instagram...

Another example of incompetent social media censorship


Link Here 25th June 2014
In a picture, a little girl is seen lifting her dress to admire her new underpants, evidence to her of her first steps in toilet training. But the tummy and underpants are considered by Instagram to be nudity. Adamo was warned by the site about posting inappropriate content, but not being able to recognise sexual tones in her children's photos fast enough she had her account deleted before she could resolve it.

Adamo's account has since been reactivated after mounting furore. But an incident like this still begs the questioin: are photography sharing sites being unnecessarily rigid about content and prudish about flesh? Facebook, for instance, has only just lifted its long held ban on the appearance of female nipple in breastfeeding photos. Advertisement

Indeed, there's a deliberate reluctance to involve themselves in the debate required for interpreting content. Blanket policies alleviate social media sites from needing to pay people, rather than inexpensive filter programs, to do specialised decision making. Adamo, cofounder of a fashionable online baby boutique had over 36,000 followers of her family photo album on Instagram before her account was removed.

 

 

Offsite Article: Censorship Dope...


Link Here12th November 2013
Soone everything will be banned on Instagram continuing with tags related to drugs

See article from bbc.co.uk



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