Although Instagram claims to be community driven its biased guidelines and algorithms leave little room for creators with smaller communities, that share a different perspectives, to thrive. The accounts with the largest following will be placed higher in the “queue”. This means there's actually great, inclusive, thought provoking content you won’t ever get to see.
So what's the big deal?
People like to dismiss the hard work that goes into content creation and throwing out remarks like “There’s more to life than likes” is irresponsible. There are too many talented black creators who never get to elevate their work on social media because of the dominant perspective (and preference) of the skinny, lighter skin, 3B curly hair, tiny feature having black girl. So whether you realize it or not, Instagram is silencing stories, voices, and struggles by policing communities that don’t cater to the popular preference. By doing so, social media is quickly becoming a tool used to divided and disempower us all. Creating a reality that does not make space for our existence.
Is it too late to fight back?It’s never too late to make a stand. The good news is the algorithm is not fixed. It's curated for your personal experience. This means whatever content you engage with most will be the content you see most. Instagram is constantly recommending new content to you (whether you realize it or not). The content that keeps you online the longest, is the content that is prioritized and loaded into your personal queue. So the next time you feel pulled to engage with a piece of content about Cardi B, Amber Rose, or Beyoncé think about how your engagement will influence your experience online in the future. Think about how that experience will make other black voices less accessible and how the resources created specifically for the black community by those black voices go unnoticed.
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How do I hack the algorithm in 2020?
Mindful Engagement is the key. Likes don’t matter as much as they used to but they still matter. Double tap, comment, share and SAVE the content that reflects your experience as a black/brown body. The content that amplifies your struggle, speaks directly to your pain, and offers a sense of community is the content you should be engaging with the most. So the next time you see a black or brown plus size lingerie model owning her body, sexuality, and power- engage with that photo! Her liberation is your liberation. Take it seriously 🔞