Instagram, YouTube and Facebook rank poorly in social media sexism toll
Feminist rights group UltraViolet published a newsletter ranking some of the biggest social media platforms on how they deal with disinformation, hate speech, harassment and misogyny. Nobody did well.
Compiled in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the report assesses the policies of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube against UltraViolet’s 11 policy recommendations. It then calculates the average score for each platform and assigns a grade according to the Harvard University Graduate School of Education grading grid.
As you might expect, no one got a Gold Star for their work, with Instagram becoming the class dunce with a terrible F overall. But even Reddit, the highest score of the lot, only walked away with an average of C.
“Social media has become an almost ubiquitous part of modern life,” UltraViolet communications director Bridget Todd said in a press release Wednesday. “Despite the benefits of staying in touch on social media platforms [sic], we cannot allow the companies behind them to peddle lies and conspiracy theories, or tacitly endorse racist, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic attacks. “
The only two A’s on the newsletter were obtained in individual categories by Reddit and Twitter, both to ensure that any user of those platforms can report content that violates their policies. However, Twitter’s average score was reduced by its F-worthy failure to direct users exposed to extremist content to anti-extremist resources, as well as its inability to have an F-service. man-monitored assistance to support and protect victims of online sexual abuse. Instagram, Youtube and TikTok also got Fs in these two categories.
Serious online harassment happens more than you think
In addition to the newsletter, UltraViolet also published an open letter to the CEOs of all of the platforms evaluated, demanding that companies immediately adopt and enforce the advocacy group’s policies to better protect marginalized groups. UltraViolet’s open letter was also signed by 75 other international organizations, including Color Of Change, GLAAD and Public Citizen.
“Blacks, Aboriginals, women of color and LGBTQ people are victims of racist and misogynistic attacks on the Internet,” the letter reads. “The actions of your companies – Alphabet, Facebook, Twitter, ByteDance, TikTok and Reddit – have shown that you care more about your profit margins than the safety of people.”
It’s a little odd that UltraViolet listed Alphabet (formerly Google) but not Meta (formerly Facebook), and named TikTok and parent company Bytedance separately. Still, the general feeling is clear.
The likelihood of any of the companies involved adopting UltraViolet’s suggestions seems slim. But it’s worth it if there’s even a small chance that the continued pressure on social media platforms will make the internet a better place.
“Your inability to act undermines freedom of expression as it allows bad actors who create hostile environments that chill the free speech of marginalized communities,” wrote UltraViolet. “There was a time when social media represented a revolutionary technology that could increase access to information, encourage empathy and diversity, and advance democracy. Now your platforms must make a choice between pursuing these ideals. worthy or continue to drown the digital and physical worlds in hatred, extremism, disinformation and violence. “