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Sarah is a food entrepreneur in a large European city the name was changed. Like many small-business owners, Sarah relies on social media to attract clients. But on Instagram, which is heavily oriented towards photos and videos, she felt that her pictures did not reach many of her 53, followers unless she posed in swimwear. Indeed, four of her seven most-liked posts of the last few months showed her in a bikini. It could be the case that their audiences massively prefer to see Sarah and Ely in bathing suits. If the other pictures Sarah and Ely post are less popular, it could be that they are not shown to their followers as much.

Which photos are shown and which are not is not just a matter of nude women on instagram. Entrepreneurs who rely on Instagram to acquire clients must adopt the norms the service encourages to reach their followers. Even if these norms do not reflect the values they built their businesses on, or those of their core audience and clients. To understand what pictures Instagram prioritized, the European Data Journalism Network and AlgorithmWatch asked 26 volunteers to install a browser add-on and follow a selection of professional content creators.

We selected 37 professionals from 12 countries 14 of them men who use Instagram to advertise brands or to acquire new clients for their businesses, mostly in the food, travel, fitness, fashion or beauty sectors. If Instagram were not meddling with the algorithm, the diversity of posts in the newsfeed of users should match the diversity of the posts by the content creators they follow. And if Instagram personalized the newsfeed of each user according to their personal tastes, the diversity of posts in their newsfeeds should be skewed in a different way for each user. This is not what we found.

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Between February and May, 1, posts published by the content creators we monitor, containing 2, photos, were analyzed. Thesewhich can be read in detail on a dedicatedpass standard tests of statistical ificance. The skew towards nudity might not apply to all Instagram users. While it was consistent and apparent for most volunteers, a small minority were served posts that better reflected the diversity published by content creators.

They only document what happened in the newsfeeds of our volunteers. You can help us improve the by installing the add-onwe will publish updates as more data comes in. We rank posts in your feed based on content and s you have shown an interest in, not on arbitrary factors like the presence of swimwear.

We nevertheless have reasons to believe that our findings are representative of how Instagram generally operates. In a patent published inengineers at Facebook, the company that runs Instagram, explained how the newsfeed could select which pictures to prioritize. When a user posts a picture, it is analyzed automatically on the spot, according to the patent. The engagement metric is partly based on past user behavior. If a user liked a specific brand and a photo shows a product of the nude women on instagram brand, the engagement metric increases. But the engagement metric can also be computed based on past behavior from all users of the service.

Whether or not users see the pictures posted by the s they follow depends not only on their past behavior, but also on what Instagram believes is most engaging for other users of the platform. Such software draws automated inferences from a training data set, made of thousands of manually annotated images.

Its limitations could impact how Instagram prioritizes pictures in newsfeeds. Computer scientists have known for years that such systems replicate and amplify the biases of their training data, leading to spurious, or fallacious, correlations. For instance, a program tasked with identifying wolves and dogs based on pictures of the canines found online will not recognize the animals in the human sense of the word.

Training data for computer vision is usually produced by poorly-paid workers with an incentive to work quickly and provide that fit the expectations of their employers.

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This le them to uncritically adopt the offered to them and to nude women on instagram the subtleties a photo might contain, wrote Agathe Balayn, a PhD candidate at the Delft University of Technology on the topic of bias in automated systems. The consequences can be severe. In December, a Brazilian artist tried to advertise one of his Instagram posts. The request was denied on the grounds that the post contained violent content. It only depicted a boy and Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton. Both were dark-skinned. In April, a yoga teacher was denied an advertisement on the ground that the picture showed profanity, even though she was only doing the side crane pose.

She is Asian-American. In our experimental setup, we also used a computer vision system, Google Vision. The subtle difference between what is encouraged and what is forbidden is decided by unaudited, and nude women on instagram biased, computer vision algorithms. Every time they post a picture, content creators must thread this very fine line between revealing enough to reach their followers but not revealing so much that they get booted off the platform.

A survey of Instagram users by the US magazine Salty showed that abusive removal of content was common. Male-dominated environments usually lead to outcomes that are detrimental to women. Seat-belts in cars, for instance, are only tested on male dummies, leading to higher rates of injuries for women.

Sarah and other entrepreneurs who rely on Instagram were terrified to speak to the press. Too much dependence on Instagram would mean losing her freedom and her sanity, she added. This new measure should not force platforms to disclose the inner workings of their algorithms, according to Petra de Sutter, who chairs the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection at the European Parliament.

Instead, the transparency P2B will bring should allow for well-informed policy decisions at a later point, she added. As for fears of shadow-bans, Ms de Sutter considers them overblown. P2B might be different, but two years after GDPR came into force, several experts deplore a very lacunary implementation.

Another issue lies in the lack of policing. While our show that male and female content creators are forced to show skin in similar ways if they want to reach their audience, the effect could be larger for females, and be considered a discrimination of female entrepreneurs. However, although discrimination based on gender is prohibited by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, no legal avenues exist for an Instagram user to start legal proceedings.

The specifics of social media entrepreneurship are not taken into in legislation. Miriam Kullmann, an assistant professor at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, wrote to AlgorithmWatch that European anti-discrimination legislation deals almost exclusively with employment relationships.

Self-employed persons, such as the professionals we monitored, are not protected.

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Some groups do fight for the rights of independent creators on social media. They do not plan to extend their program to content creators on Instagram or other platforms. With the of European entrepreneurs creating content from Instagram likely ranging in the thousands, the impact of their posts is massive, as they routinely boast hundreds of thousands of followers. Facebook claims that close to million residents of the European Union, or one in three, used Instagram in April. The stay-at-home orders linked to the Covid pandemic increased the time spent on Instagram by staggering amounts.

In one week in locked-down Italy, Instagram views doubled over normal, Facebook reported to investors. On Instagram, deferring to the opinion of the authorities that built the newsfeed algorithm is not a choice. Do you use Instagram professionally? Have you seen your posts or your suspended, disabled or shadow-banned? We'd love to hear from you.

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Contact Nicolas Kayser-Bril securely at kayserbril protonmail. Story 15 June Auf Deutsch lesen discrimination instagram. Waiting for an audit The skew towards nudity might not apply to all Instagram users. Maximizing engagement In a patent published inengineers at Facebook, the company that runs Instagram, explained how the newsfeed could select which pictures to prioritize. Fear of the shadow-ban Sarah and other entrepreneurs who rely on Instagram were terrified to speak to the press. Possible discrimination While our show that male and female content creators are forced to show skin in similar ways if they want to reach their audience, the effect could be larger for females, and be considered a discrimination of female entrepreneurs.

One in three Europeans With the of European entrepreneurs creating content from Instagram likely ranging in the thousands, the impact of their posts is massive, as they routinely boast hundreds of thousands of followers. Nicolas Kayser-Bril. Nicolas is data journalist and working for AlgorithmWatch as a reporter. He nude women on instagram new forms of journalism in France and in Europe and is one of the leading experts on data journalism. He regularly speaks at international conferences, teaches journalism in French journalism schools and gives training sessions in newsrooms.

A self-taught journalist and developer and a graduate in Economicshe started by doing small interactive, data-driven applications for Le Monde in Paris in Nicolas is also one of the main contributors to the Datajournalism Handbook, the reference book for the popularization of data journalism worldwide.

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It looks like Instagram's algorithm systematically boosts seminude pictures