Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Instagram begins asking some users about their race, ethnicity

With an aim to better understand how different groups experience Instagram, the Meta-owned photo-sharing platform is beginning to ask some users about their race and ethnicity.

The company said if they do not know people’s race or ethnicity, they will be limited in assessing how their products impact different communities.

“To better understand different experiences people may have on Instagram, we need to collect and measure demographic information, like race and ethnicity,” the company said in a blogpost.

“We will ask a random assortment of people on Instagram in the US to participate in an optional survey where they can share this information,” it added.

Over the next few months, people on Instagram in the US may see a prompt asking them about their race or ethnicity. This leads to a survey hosted by YouGov, an international research group that helps companies securely run surveys.

Individual, de-identified responses will be collected by YouGov, encrypted, and split into parts to be stored across partner research institutions.

Instagram said it will only have access to aggregated information, which means it cannot connect people or their Instagram accounts to their individual responses.

“This information will allow us to better understand the experiences different communities have on Instagram, how our technology may impact different groups, and if there are changes we can make to promote fairness,” the company said.

The company also mentioned that participating in the survey is optional.

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