Instagram gets an F, TikTok a D+ on the sexism report card
Instagram gets an F, TikTok a D+ on the sexism report card

Instagram gets an F, TikTok a D+ on the sexism report card

Instagram gets an F, TikTok a D+ on the sexism report card

Feminist advocacy group Ultraviolet has released a report card ranking some of the biggest social media platforms on how they deal with misinformation, hate speech, harassment and misogyny. No one did well.

Compiled in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the report evaluates the policies of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube against Ultraviolet’s 11 policy recommendations. It then averages each platform’s score and assigns a letter grade according to the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s grading rubric.

Apparently, no one got a gold star for their work, with Instagram emerging as the class moron with a dismal F overall. But even Reddit, which was the highest scoring, only walked away with a C average.

“Social media has become an almost ubiquitous part of modern life,” said Bridget Todd, Ultraviolet communications director, in a press release Wednesday. “Despite the benefits of keeping in touch on social media platforms [sic]We cannot allow the companies behind them to spread lies and conspiracy theories, or silently ignore racist, anti-feminist, homophobic and transphobic attacks.”

Only two As were earned on the report card in separate categories by Reddit and Twitter, both of which ensure that any user on these platforms can report content that violates their policies. Although Twitter scores an average F-worthy failure to directly direct users exposed to extremist content to resources to counter extremism, as well as the failure of human-monitored help desks to assist and protect victims of online sexual abuse was pulled down. Instagram, Youtube and TikTok also scored Fs in both these categories.

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In addition to the report card, UltraViolet also published an open letter to the CEOs of all the platforms it assessed, demanding that the companies immediately adopt and implement the advocacy group’s policies to better protect marginalized groups . Ultraviolet’s open letter was also signed by 75 other international organizations including Color of Change, GLAAD and Public Citizen.

“Black, Indigenous and women of color and LGBTQ people are being harmed by racist and misogynistic attacks on the internet,” the letter said. “The actions of your companies – Alphabet, Facebook, Twitter, ByteDance, TikTok and Reddit – have demonstrated that you care more about your profit margins than keeping people safe.”

It’s a bit odd that UltraViolet listed Alphabet (formerly Google) but not Meta (formerly Facebook), and named TikTok and parent company Bytedance separately. Still, the overall feeling is clear.

The likelihood that any of the companies addressed will adopt UltraViolet’s suggestions seems slim. But it’s worth a shot if the ongoing pressure on social media platforms holds even a small chance of making the Internet a better place.

Ultraviolet wrote, “Your failure to act undermines free speech because it enables bad actors who create hostile environments that chill the free speech of marginalized communities.” “There was a time when social media represented revolutionary technology that could increase access to information, encourage empathy and diversity, and advance democracy. Now, your platforms need to follow those worthy ideals or Must choose between plunging the digital and physical worlds into hatred, extremism, disinformation and violence.”