A recent incident involving popular Instagram account, theconsciouskid, left users questioning the integrity of the social media app. In a multi-image post, theconsciouskid outlined white supremacy and its salience in Western countries, such as the U.S. After the post was uploaded, theconsciouskid uploaded another post explaining that Instagram deleted the original.
Subsequent posts on the account indicate that Instagram deleted the post again, with the explanation that the post violated community guidelines that prohibits, “violence or dangerous organizations.” Instagram’s warning included a threat to dissolve the account if theconsciouskid violated community guidelines again.
A few days ago, theconsciouskid posted a screenshot displaying Instagram’s response to reporting an account with a racist slur as their username. The username now no longer exists, after having an account for eight years. When other Instagram users reported the account, Instagram provided lukewarm feedback, stating, “We can’t prioritize all reports right now.” The message continues, “If you don’t want to see n—-rstrangler on Instagram, you can unfollow, mute or block them.”
The difference in responses not only incensed users, but upholds the very institution theconsciouskid’s repeatedly deleted post highlights: white supremacy. Does Instagram uphold white supremacy? To threaten to ban an account that informs followers about white supremacy, yet insist that an account whose username contains a racist slur cannot be prioritized would suggest that Instagram selectively applies its rules.
Less than 24 hours ago, theconsciouskid posted an update detailing an admission of oversight by Instagram leadership staff. The post goes on to explain that thesconsciouskid staff and Instagram staff will meet next week to discuss anti-racism and how Instagram staff can imbue this framework in their policies and practices. This type of advocacy can yield positive results for BIPOC who use Instagram.
Currently, theconsciouskid is accepting questions, comments, and concerns regarding, “racism, equity, or oppression,” at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to Juncture to remain updated on the progress of this advocacy endeavor.