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

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.


FILE – The Instagram icon is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

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.

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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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)