Wednesday November 20, 2019
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Real or Fake? Female Influencers Endure Criticism, Harassment on Instagram

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

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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.

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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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Facebook, Instagram Down Again, Users Clueless: Report

The biggest outage Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram faced was in March that lasted for more than 14 hours. Facebook blamed a 'database' overload for the problem

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

Users from different parts of the world took to Twitter on Tuesday to report problems using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, including several parts in the US and the UK.

According to Downdetector website which monitors online outages, the outages did not appear to hit the entire Facebook network but several areas reported disruption in services.

While 63 per cent reported a total blackout, 19 per cent had problems in logging in while 16 per cent faced problems with their News Feed.

“Facebook always getting hacked and now disabled… Why can’t Facebook work right. I can’t get on my new account because it was disabled,” posted an user.

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An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

“Okay, is Facebook Messenger down?” posted another. Users said the Facebook app failed to send or load messages.

The social networking platform was yet to identify or comment on the latest outage.

Also Read: Tech Giant Google Acquires Enterprise Software Firm ‘CloudSimple’

Facebook and Instagram suffered a total outage in the UK and in some parts of Europe in September as thousands of users went on to Twitter to complain about not being able to use the social media platforms.

The biggest outage Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram faced was in March that lasted for more than 14 hours. Facebook blamed a ‘database’ overload for the problem. (IANS)