Behind Closed DMs
Most abuse sent via Instagram DMs is ignored.
A new study found Instagram failed to act on 90% of abuse sent via DMs — despite being reported. The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) worked with five well-known women on the social media platform. Think: Amber Heard and Rachel Riley. And went through more than 8,000 of their DMs, only to find Instagram didn’t act on the reports of abuse when flagged using the platform’s safety tools.
What kind of abuse?
Harassment, violent threats, and image-based sexual abuse. The report comes as many women say they feel unsafe on social media. Now, the CCDH is backing up those claims, saying women are exposed to an “epidemic of misogynist abuse” on Instagram.
That’s not good.
Nope. But Instagram’s pushing back. It says “gender-based hate or any threat of sexual violence” isn’t allowed. And that it's taken steps to prevent it — especially with public figures. Think: by adding a feature to filter abusive messages and protect users from unwanted contact. But the CCDH report shows it’s still not enough to keep women safe. It comes as Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has said the company — which owns Instagram — chooses profits over safety.
Social media has long faced scrutiny over its rampant online abuse. Now, this new study indicates one of the biggest social media companies isn’t doing enough to prevent it for public figures — let alone everyone else.
Who people are remembering…
Amir Locke. Yesterday, Minnesota prosecutors announced no criminal charges will be filed in his death. In February, the 22-year-old Black man was shot and killed by police carrying out a no-knock raid. It’s the same kind officers used that resulted in the 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor. Now, officials have determined there is not enough evidence to charge the police officer who fired his weapon. But also say body cam video shows Locke pointed his gun at the officer. Locke’s mother says she’s “disgusted” by the decision.
Black Lives Still Matter: It's been almost two years since the death of George Floyd reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement. And still, last year Black Americans accounted for 27% of those killed by police — twice the rate of white Americans.
No-knock: Earlier this week, the Minneapolis mayor announced a policy prohibiting police from no-knock search warrants — in most cases. And while other states have enacted similar policies, only four have outright banned no-knock warrants.
Who the US is going after now…
The Sisters Putin. Yesterday, the US gov sanctioned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughters, Katerina Tikhonova and Mariya Putina. The women, in their 30s, are rarely acknowledged by the Russian leader. But now the US is targeting them, accusing them of hiding Putin’s wealth. The news comes in response to discoveries of atrocities in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv that Russians controlled before retreating last week.
What’s up at bat…
MLB. Today, some baseball teams are taking to the field for the first time this season. Opening Day this year comes after a 99-day lockout. For months, players and owners couldn't reach an agreement on pay and other issues. It was the longest lockout since the 1990s. Now, the around $11-billion-per-year industry is back on, with players getting a higher minimum salary and the ability to advertise on uniforms, among other changes. Another reason this year is different from the others: sign-stealing. The league is allowing catchers and pitchers to signal each other using...wait for it...buttons instead of hand signals to avoid the other team figuring out what they're trying to say. And to stop some teams (cough, Houston Astros) from setting up monitors to spy and sleuth them out.
…Oh and speaking of swinging, Tiger Woods is on the hunt for a dub at the Masters. Welcome back.
What’s got markets all shaken and stirred…
…Oh and speaking of money, honey: billionaires. Yesterday, Forbes dropped its 2022 list of the wealthy and #blessed. The list is smaller this year, but they're still worth a collective $12.7 trillion. It must be nice.
Who’s giving love an “Ultimatum”...
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