While we have benefited a lot from social media, of course, unfortunately, it is also a place where many horrible people flaunt all kinds of hate speech against people they disagree with or dislike. Instagram is a platform that is not as toxic as Twitter or its parent company Facebook, but there is still a lot of abusive behavior there. In light of recent racist behavior online by some “fanatics” targeting footballers in the UK, Instagram is hardening its stance on hate messages sent via Direct Messages.
Police behavior in direct messages is not as easy as addressing them in comments on posts, as the former is a private conversation, of course. But Instagram is creating some measures to protect its users from hate speech. It is defined as attacking people based on their protected characteristics, which include a person’s race or religion. They have implemented a strict stance in their rules on the prohibition of explicit and implicit forms of hate speech.
When Instagram is notified that an account is violating the direct message rules through reports from other users, the account will be banned from sending messages for a specified period of time. But if they keep sending the same kind of messages, the account will be deactivated. New accounts that attempt to circumvent the restrictions placed on the original account will also be disabled.
The amount of racist abuse that footballers in the UK have been on the rise of lately, which is why Instagram says they will cooperate with UK law enforcement authorities to respond to valid legal requests in some of these cases. Football teams as well as the Football Association of England (Prince William is the president) have issued various statements against racist abuse and other forms of hate speech and that it has no place in sport and in real life .
Instagram says They will work with companies, football associations, NGOs, governments, parents and educators to fight against hate and racism on the platform. At the same time, they are also aware that “these problems are bigger than us.”