Instagram has announced a number of new initiatives as part of its continuing efforts to better address unintentional biases in its product development. The changes will also help the company create a more equitable workplace environment for all employees, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. “We have a responsibility to look at what we build and how we build, so that people’s experiences with our product better mirrors the actions and aspirations of our community”, said Instagram head, Adam Mosseri.
One of the major steps the company has taken towards that goal is create a new ‘Instagram Equity Team‘ that Mosseri says will focus on “better understanding and addressing bias in our product development and people’s experiences on Instagram”. The Equity team will focus on creating products that will be ‘fair and equitable’. This includes working with Facebook’s Responsible AI team to weed out inherent biases from the company’s AI algorithms. The Equity Team will also create new features that respond to the needs of underserved communities.
Instagram is also hiring a new Director for Diversity and Inclusion. According to Mosseri, the new recruit will “help to advance Instagram’s goal of finding, keeping, and growing more diverse talent”. The company is also updating a number of policies globally to better detect and delete implicit hate speech, such as content depicting blackface, or stereotypes about Jewish people. The company is also seemingly stepping up its enforcement against folks who make rape threats, and will now immediately suspend any account that makes these threats.
Mosseri also detailed a number of other steps the company is taking to make Instagram a more equitable and less toxic platform, but it will be interesting to see how that will play out in reality.