Nazis and White Supremacist Content Still Infects Instagram

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New research shows that, despite taking significant steps to remove hateful content, hundreds of posts promoting dangerous white supremacist ideologies are still readily available on Instagram where they could radicalize unsuspecting users, reports USA Today. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has uncovered hundreds of accounts sharing extremist propaganda. Meta Platforms, which owns Instagram and Facebook, said it was reviewing the content to see if it violates its policies.

Posts included references to “accelerationism,” an extremist ideology cited in the manifestos of mass shooters whose goal is to quicken the destruction of Western governments by fomenting chaos and tension. Researchers were able to find and view five Instagram posts containing content linked to the Atomwaffen Division, an accelerationist group that is designated as a terrorist organization, suggesting that they may be active again and spreading propaganda on social media. Researchers quickly discovered 50 more accounts sharing white supremacist content, including posts with neo-Nazi symbolism such as swastikas or SS bolts. Tracking followers of those accounts, they found more than 200 accounts, which promoted other white supremacist themes. The challenge for technology platforms is to implement rules that effectively filter out hateful content that violates their terms of service, without inadvertently banning other content that is acceptable

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