Instagram apologized for not moderating racist comments after the European final

Instagram apologized for not moderating racist comments after the European final

According to the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, it was a mistake also due to the difficulty for the AI ​​to contextualize words and emojis

(photo: Charlotte Tattersall / Getty Images) Instagram has admitted a mistake. in the moderation of comments and racist emojis aimed at the players of the English national football team who missed their penalties in the Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday. This

A wave of racist slurs from England fans spilled over young Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho after the European final, but these comments weren't promptly removed.

Now the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has made mea culpa, writing that this content was "wrongly" identified as within the guidelines rather than being reported to human moderators. The problem has now been resolved, he said.

"We have the technology to try and prioritize reports we have mistakenly marked some of these as benign comments, which they are absolutely not," Mosseri tweeted. in response to a journalist from the British broadcaster BBC who asked for an explanation as to why these insults had not been removed, even if reported by users.

We have technology to try and prioritize reports, and we were mistakenly marking some of these as benign comments, which they are absolutely not. The issue has since been addressed, and the publication has all of this context.

- Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) July 14, 2021 | these types of comments should now be properly scrutinized, ”Mosseri wrote, but admitted that offensive emojis are difficult to detect“ as are words whose meaning changes based on context ”.

The BBC had requested the removal of a comment containing several monkey emojis under a post by the young Arsenal player Saka on Monday. The platform's response was, via a notification, that this content "probably isn't against our guidelines."

Yesterday Saka himself responded to the abuse. Referring to the social platforms, he wrote that he did not want "that no child or adult should receive the hateful and painful messages that Marcus, Jadon and I received this week".

Saka said he immediately understood the type of insults he was about to receive, but found that instead the platforms "are not doing enough to stop these messages".

Even following Mosseri's comments on Wednesday, for a few hours on Saka's profile they remained there are still many other racist comments. Racism on Instagram is not a new problem and other footballers have previously suffered such insults. As a first measure of self-protection, Instagram users can filter comments with offensive words or emojis on their accounts by changing the Hidden Words in the settings.

For the moment, Instagram seems unable to do much more to prevent and moderate racism on its platform. Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Center for Countering Hate told the BBC that "of the 105 accounts we have identified for racially abusing English footballers, 88 are still active."

According to Ahmed "it is time for the UK government to follow Germany's lead in passing laws and impose severe financial sanctions on companies that give a megaphone to racism and extremism".

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