Instagram is the most racist and misogynistic social network

A recent study carried out by the feminist group Ultraviolet and the ISD (Institute for Strategic Dialogue) in collaboration with Harvard University, has established a classification of the social networks that most promote discrimination based on sex and race.

No social network or platform handles disinformation, hate speech, misogyny or racism well, as concludes the report Social Media Fails Women, by the feminist association UltraViolet in collaboration with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, US United. Furthermore, in the investigation, it was highlighted that Instagram is the most misogynistic and racist of all.

The work analyzed the policies of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube, comparing them to UltraViolet’s policy recommendations. All the virtual sites mentioned have scored and qualified according to the Harvard University School of Education method: ‘A’ for the best and ‘F’ for the worst.

Instagram, which belongs to Meta, received the worst score as it is considered the one that most promotes hate speech against women and racism. Facebook, from the same parent company, got a D- while YouTube got a D.


That Instagram and Facebook are the two worst social networks according to the report comes as no surprise, considering that the company led by Mark Zuckerberg is going through one of the worst crises in its history after numerous internal studies were leaked in which it was revealed that Meta knew the toxicity it promoted and the few measures taken on it.

The two platforms share many policies and, according to UltraViolet, “do not address misogyny, gender misinformation, racial disinformation, cyberbullying and deadnaming”. The latter practice is to call a trans person by their birth name.

The conclusions of the study for the social networks analyzed are as follows:

Facebook (D-): Fails to persecute discriminatory behaviour due to sexual status or race, as well as fail to address misinformation or harassment or hate speech. Reported posts take too long to remove, and recipients of harassment or abusive posts are forced to counter-report each user and post individually. As for health disinformation (pregnancy, abortion, eating disorders …), it is particularly worrying for its effects on the health of the people who access such content.

Instagram (F): Since it shares the same usage policies as Facebook, it shares most of its flaws, adding in the case of Instagram the highest incidence of effects derived from the presence of discrimination by algorithms and filters that discriminate on a sexist basis and physical appearance.

TikTok (D +): Critical is the total disregard for racial discrimination and the spread of so-called “revenge porn”, the explicit content that ex-partners spread as revenge without the consent of the other party. A detailed analysis would have shown that, moreover, sometimes preferential treatment is granted to discriminatory content based on race and sexual status. Misinformation on health issues is, according to the report, “rampant” and even the algorithm of this social network would show a bias in favour of conservative ideological content.

Twitter (C): It is acknowledged that it has a strict policy on hate speech, but it still needs to improve in aspects such as cyberbullying and the publication of “revenge porn”. The strict policy to erase misinformation related to COVID-19 is welcomed, but it is criticized that it is not extended to other health-related content such as eating disorders and pregnancy.

Reddit got the group’s highest score with a C and Twitter got a C-. For its part, TikTok is in third place with a D +.

For UltraViolet Reddit and Twitter have “strong enough” policies against hate speech that allow their users to report content they believe violates policies, but still, believe platforms should expand their policies against related forms of disinformation. gender, including “abortion, pregnancy, eating disorders and extreme diets”.

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Samuel Afolabi is a lazy tech-savvy that loves writing almost all tech-related kinds of stuff. He is the Editor-in-Chief of TechVaz. You can connect with him socially :)