Rape hate post used by Instagram's algorithm for ad

A user's image which included the phrase "I will rape you before I kill you, you filthy whore!" was used in advertising for Instagram on Facebook.

Apparently, algorithms used by the social media giant had decided this would be a good post to use based on its likes, comments, and engagement. The original post was a screenshot from around a year ago that Olivia Solon had shared on Instagram of some of the hate mail and threats she had received.

This post then appeared on her sister's Facebook timeline as an advert explaining how her sister and 155 of her friends were using Instagram, and how she could see her sisters photos and other posts from her "friends".

Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook, apologized for the incident and explained that the ad would only have appeared in the timelines of some of her friends who either did not use Instagram or had not logged into the service for a long time, and this was indeed the work of non-human algorithms.

Facebook is currently under the eye of a US Senate committee investigating alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 US presidential elections, as well as facing pressure to ensure that they do enough to protect the Canadian elections. At the heart of the Senate investigations is the use of ads on the social media service. As absurd as the content that appears in this advert is, it might be the least of the company's concerns at the moment.

Source: The Guardian

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