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Female Influencers Endure More Criticism on Social Media Platforms Like Instagram

If they're too real, if they show too much of their inner thoughts or they express too much, they fear criticism

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Instagram
Yet few controls and restrictions exist on Instagram, leaving harassment victims particularly helpless when the success of their businesses depends on social media prominence. Pixabay

Female Instagram influencers – whose livelihoods depend on their numbers of followers, views and likes – endure criticism and harassment both for being too real and for seeming too fake, says a new study.

Research from Cornell University has found harassment on Instagram can be common, particularly among those with large following. And abuse is more prevalent – and potentially more harmful – for women and people from marginalised communities.

This leaves women on Instagram caught in what researchers have termed an “authenticity bind” – the nature of social media compels them to share details from their personal lives, but these details make them vulnerable to abuse or charges that they have “curated” or faked their online personas.

“People are compelled to be authentic and ‘real’ but in ways that are really narrowly defined,” said study co-author Brooke Erin Duffy, Associate Professor from Cornell University.

“If they’re too real, if they show too much of their inner thoughts or they express too much, they fear criticism. But if they aren’t real enough, if they’re highly curated and very performative, or idealized and aspirational, they fear blowback. So, a woman on social media, especially with a large following, essentially can’t win,” Duffy explained.

Yet few controls and restrictions exist on Instagram, leaving harassment victims particularly helpless when the success of their businesses depends on social media prominence, said the researchers.

Instagram
Female Instagram influencers – whose livelihoods depend on their numbers of followers, views and likes – endure criticism and harassment both for being too real and for seeming too fake, says a new study. Pixabay

For the study, the research team interviewed 25 professional or aspiring female Instagrammers in the areas of fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

They found the women tended to censor themselves in anticipation or criticism.

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Women also said they noticed viewers were more engaged with posts confiding personal or private information about their lives, but they also said they felt reluctant to share anything “that’s not elevated and inspirational/aspirational.”

According to the researchers, the study calls attention to the lack of safeguards for female Instagram influencers, whose challenges are often disdained by a skeptical public. (IANS)

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Instagram to Now Ask New Users to Provide Their Birthdate

Users will soon be able to restrict new messages from only people and groups they follow. The feature will arrive in the coming weeks

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Instagram
Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram will now ask new users for their date of birth when an account is created.

Previously, Instagram users were required to confirm they were ages 13 or older when signing up, but they didn’t have to provide an exact birthday.

The new addition is Instagram’s attempt to better protect young users and provide a ‘more age-appropriate experience overall’.

“According to our Terms of Use, you must be at least 13-years old to have an account in most countries. Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall. Your birthday will not be visible to others on Instagram, but you’ll be able to see it when viewing your own private account information,” the company said a statement on Wednesday.

facebook, instagram
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

The firm noted that it will pull birthdates from Facebook for user’s who have connected their profile and editing your birth date on Facebook will do the same on Instagram.

For those who do not have a Facebook account, they can add or edit their date of birth directly on Instagram.

Also Read: TikTok Prevents Disabled Users’ Videos From Going Viral: Report

Additionally, Instagram is also preparing a new feature to prevent strangers from sliding into your direct messages.

Users will soon be able to restrict new messages from only people and groups they follow. The feature will arrive in the coming weeks. (IANS)