The way in which Instagram wants to end toxicity within its social network may be well intentioned, but it also opens a debate about the power of users within this platform.
Social networks have become an essential part of many people’s lives, which means that they spend more and more time on these platforms. There is currently a trio of winning social networks: Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.
The changes that Instagram has gone through are intended to create a much more inclusive environment and eliminate toxicity that can be generated within the social network. Yes, it is something very complex and, to be honest, it seems almost impossible to achieve.
Instagram may have an ace up its sleeve and that would be control. Come on, the company would really take the reins of the application. Of course, it cannot do it alone and it would need the help of users to do so.
The way Instagram would reduce harmful content within the social network would be based on user reports. Come on, seeing a post and reporting that you don’t like it or find it harmful will be taken seriously.
By denouncing the contents, comments and accounts, what Instagram will do is a kind of bubble in which this type of content will not be shown. This will prevent users from being exposed to these situations.
The truth is that, by taking this path, an interesting debate is opened around the control of Instagram and echo chambers. And, is that, this new mechanic can be exploited in an unconventional way.
Users who simply do not want to see certain content for their own reasons can start reporting profiles or report them as offensive content. This will make these profiles disappear for them, but can cause problems for the owners of said accounts.
We will have to wait to see how this Instagram proposal works, but it is clear that the base from which they start is quite complex and, the truth is that there is no correct way to stop hate within social networks without causing problems to the social network operation.