Instagram clears up a bit more of its content moderation mess

person using instagram app

Users with professional Instagram accounts can now look to a newly expanded Account Status page that will supposedly help them better understand how content recommendation works.

The expansion is geared at helping an account holder know whether their content is eligible for being recommended to non-followers, and why if not. The page can also help explain how a user can make their posts recommendation-friendly or undo content blocks.

Instagram has already explained the benefits of content recommendations for account holders in a previous blog post, but these explanations have often been lacking on clarity.

As many users of the platform have noticed since long ago, understanding the mechanics and prohibitions around content recommendations has often been opaque. This is far from an uncommon problem from a service by Meta.

To counter these issues, Instagram’s administration has expanded its Account Status page for easier usability and clearer guidelines. According to the platform,

“That’s why it’s important to us that creators understand our guidelines and are able to know if something they’ve posted or have in their profile may be impacting their reach to non-followers,”

It also explains that “It’s also why we’re introducing the ability to disagree with our decision so our review team can take another look as quickly as possible and we can continue to improve our detection technology.”

Consequently, Instagram has now introduced three new Account Status features that one would think were obvious necessities right from the start:

  • Being able to check if certain content or content from a certain account can be recommended
  • Being able to see what issues prevent this if it can’t be recommended
  • Suggestions for what an account holder can do to make content recommendation-friendly

As the saying goes, “better late than never”, and though late, these changes may help some users find out if and how they might be eligible to recommend their creations to non-followers through parts of Instagram that include Explore, Reels and Feed Recommendations.

If the content isn’t eligible, Instagram will now also let users see samples of how it goes against its Recommendation Guidelines or why content has been removed for violating the platform’s “Community Guidelines”.

instagram new content moderation options

Users can then edit and delete any posts that are being blocked from recommendation, or they can request a second review of a post by Instagram’s moderation team.

This latter option works on the implicit notion that the original review and even the follow-up review are conducted by actual human moderators and not an AI algorithm.

Regardless of what the platform states, this possibility can’t be discounted given Meta’s known mechanisms for moderating content at scale across hundreds of millions of users.

In any case, Instagram claims, “With these updates, we want to help you understand issues with your account and better explain how our systems and rules work,”

The app from Meta also states, “We’re continuing to improve Account Status to cover more areas (like Search and Suggested Accounts), and add more ways for you to understand and fix issues that may affect how you reach non-followers.”

Admittedly, for a company with a long history of blocking or restricting content based on sometimes murky moderation mechanisms, these Account Status additions are a step in the right direction.

How well they work for users in practice is something we’ll have to see in the coming weeks and months.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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