It’s a white privileged way of saying, hey we know you do not have the manpower and legal power to really combat this issue but we cannot keep ignoring the issue so we must respond with bullshit. Instagram’s Adam Mosseri updates the blog with more intel on how the algorithm responds to different types of content. “Contrary to what you might have heard, it’s in our interest as a business to ensure that creators are able to reach their audiences and get discovered so they can continue to grow and thrive on Instagram.”
We previously covered our own CVO’s challenges with being a Black Lives Matter activist and a voting rights advocate. Tahyira’s Instagram feed has been tagged as a Black Identity Extremists, a group of online social media accounts that documented the earlier stages of the Black Lives Matter movement by attending rallies, protests, and sharing details regarding cases like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner around 2014. During President Trump’s administration, the FBI created a special task force to investigate BIE, what they framed as a new-age Black Panther Party. You can read the full FBI report here.
The majority of the comments however, revealed more users felt that this was performative.
Shadowbanning is a new form of censorship but it’s falling in line with another big issue across American voices, book bans are also up in the South. So let’s survey the trend. The FBI targets Black Americans for freely protesting a constitutional right in 2017. Then the GOP works overtime to change laws against the history of why Black America is the target in the United States. Why is a private platform also working in favor of silencing Black voices?
It truly is a slap in the face. Retaliation found in the Black American history books is not new. From whippings to cutting off limbs, from lynchings to the Southern rape farms, from Edmund Pettus Bridge to every hashtag city, we have been and remain the biggest racial group that is deemed a threat. Our leaders during the 1960s were killed. The Black Liberation movement of the 1970s was politically weaponized resulting in the removal of leaders like Fred Hampton and the exile of speakers like Angela Davis, the activists of today’s space are not separate but equal.
With the focus on race based politics in a nation that is polarizing we have reached the point of true change. It’s a slow drip in the bucket. Since the 2020 Protests that sparked after the murder of George Floyd we have seen the cross-racial response. People around the globe chanted Black Lives Matter. It’s a sign that everyday people are waking up. The pandemic slowed down a lot of stories that would have gone unnoticed. Floyd’s cries for help and the knee on his neck spread around the world like a social change wildfire. As the activists on Instagram use the platform to highlight these changes in social justice, the owners of Instagram will try to slow down their reach, it does not mean they can stop their movement.