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Instagram works to rectify racial & size bias on their platform

Explicit nudity should be fairly easy to define. However, Instagram has been called upon to change their definition of the term. Including when they will & won't censor women's breasts on the platform.

It comes after months of campaigning from photographers, influencers, celebrities and users, urging the platform to address its inherent bias against Black people, people of colour, plus size people and anyone who falls out of the "typical Western standard of beauty" - they claim.

The global policy change has largely been attributed to two women in particular, UK model Nyome Nicholas-Williams and comedian Celeste Barber. The women brought attention to this unfair bias to their large social media audiences, urging them to call out Instagram and drive public awareness.

Image via Celeste Barber's instagram:

The women share parallels with their audience at the irony of Instagram's decision to censor Celeste Barber's image parodying Candice Swanepoel's exact pose, and yet no censoring on Candice's image occurred.

Despite the positive outcome in this instance that Instagram has responded and is working on changes to its platform's algorithm, this isn't the only issue of bias users are campaigning against.

Prior to this occurrence, The Atlantic had looked at the long term effects of algorithm bias on social media users who belong to a demographic which the algorithm does not favour. They found that these biases can lead to substantial psychological impact & even physiological change.

Algorithmic racism is a form of technological microaggression— these often 'minor' and thinly-veiled, prejudicial policy implementations often happen without the aggressor intending to hurt anyone. They occur moreso as a result of how the algorithm was made, excluding some groups, as opposed to intentionally doing so. Regardless of how or why it occurs, the impact can be substantial. Particularly amongst younger audiences.

Direct quote from The Atlantic:

"Research suggests that being on the receiving end of discrimination is correlated with poor mental health outcomes across all ages. When youth of color experience discrimination, their sleep, academic performance, and self-esteem might suffer.
Experiencing discrimination can even alter gene expression across the life span."

Kitch Catterall

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