Instagram Has Plans To Collect Information About Race From Its Users

·2 min read
Photo:  Tim Robberts (Getty Images)
Photo: Tim Robberts (Getty Images)

Instagram will start administering surveys to some users about ethnicity and race to help more marginalized populations. The app explained their reasoning in a blog post Thursday:

When we established the Equity team, we wanted to understand how people from historically marginalized communities experience Instagram. For the last two years, we prioritized extensive research to better understand the concerns raised by these communities, and we made significant improvements in our products as a result. However, if we don’t know people’s race or ethnicity, we’re limited in our ability to assess how our products impact different communities.To better understand different experiences people may have on Instagram we need to collect and measure demographic information, like race and ethnicity. Starting today, we’ll ask a random assortment of people on Instagram in the United States to participate in an optional survey where they can share this information.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, shared that the survey is optional and will ask users what race they identify with. He posted a video to several of his social media accounts and explained that if Instagram wants to be equitable, it has to figure out how it can best support its users.

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“We know that groups that have been historically marginalized disproportionately contribute to creativity, toward pushing culture forward. So it’s in our interest to make sure that Instagram is as great an experience as it can be for all communities, for all individuals, no matter how they identify, ” Mosseri said.

Instagram started an “Equity Team” in 2020 to deal with concerns from creators of color on the app and to examine biases related to algorithms. The survey will ultimately be used as a tool to “promote fairness,” which is long overdue. However, can Instagram also go back to looking like itself instead of TikTok?