Facebook advertises a sexist photo-ad urging non-users to join Instagram

Instagram had posted an advertisement on Facebook asking its Facebook users to join Instagram. The reporter's sister received the post on Facebook.

It has been quite sometime that social media has been under the scanner for pervasive sexism and racism on their platform.

Facebook advertises a sexist photo-ad urging non-users to join Instagram

Representative image: Reuters.

A female reporter from The Guardian, noticed how her screenshot was used by Instagram to advertise it on Facebook. And this was not any other photograph, rather it was a screenshot of an email threat which she was sent, a year ago.

Instagram had posted an advertisement on Facebook asking its Facebook users to join Instagram. The reporter's sister received the post on Facebook. On this photograph was a screenshot of an email which said, “Olivia, you f****** b****” and “I will rape you”.

The screenshot from the threat mail was taken by Instagram and posted on Facebook.

According to The Guardian, an Instagram spokesperson apologised for the post. According to him, it was supposed to be received by people who were not Instagram users, or do not visit the photo-sharing app frequently. He also said that it wasn't a part of paid promotions. In the report, the Instagram spokesperson said, “This notification post was surfaced as part of an effort to encourage engagement on Instagram. Posts are generally received by a small percentage of a person’s Facebook friends.”

It is unknown why Instagram would use this screenshot to promote user engagement. This not the first time, Facebook has come under the scanner. Previously, according to an investigation by the ProPublica, Facebook, along with other social media platforms like Twitter had come under the scanner for allowing keywords like 'Jew haters' to exist on in its targetting section.

As a response to the 'Jew haters' option, Sheryl Sandberg had said, "The fact that hateful terms were even offered as options was totally inappropriate and a fail on our part." Meanwhile, she also said, Facebook Inc will add "more human review and oversight" when it comes to Facebook ads.

It is quite surprising that the Facebook ad should come at a time when Sandberg had shown her resentment for racist target options.

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