Popping over to IGTV to watch some long-form vertical videos from your favorite Instagrammers? Be careful what you click.
According to Business Insider, IGTV has been recommending some “graphic and disturbing” content, including “sexually suggestive footage of young girls and an explicit video of a mutilated penis.” The news outlet monitored IGTV over a three-week period using several different accounts, including one it set up as a child’s account, and encountered unsavory recommendations in both the “For You” and “Popular” tabs.
“Within days of monitoring IGTV through Business Insider accounts, a video appeared in the For You section titled ‘Hot Girl Follow Me,'” the site reported. “It showed a young girl, we speculate to have been 11 or 12, in a bathroom. She glanced around before moving to take her top off. Just as she’s about to remove her clothing, the video ends.”
Even more disturbing, IGTV recommended that same video to the fake child account Business Insider set up for the investigation—an account that “had no activity history on Instagram and a user age set to 13.” Another video recommended to the child account featured a different “clearly underage girl exposing her belly and pouting for the camera.”
Business Insider wasn’t the only one concerned about the content. Others expressed disgust in the comments of the offending videos.
Business Insider flagged the videos using Instagram’s reporting feature but said they “remained online for five days.” By the time Instagram finally deleted the videos, they had already racked up more than 1 million views.
Another now-deleted video recommended to the child account showed “graphic footage of a penis undergoing an operation involving a motorized saw,” Business Insider reported.
In an email to PCMag, Instagram said it has removed all the offending content.
“We care deeply about keeping all of Instagram—including IGTV—a safe place for young people to get closer to the people and interests they care about,” Instagram said. “We take measures to proactively monitor potential violations of our Community Guidelines and just like on the rest of Instagram, we encourage our community to report content that concerns them. We have a trained team of reviewers who work 24/7 to remove anything which violates our terms.”
Instagram said it has “zero tolerance for anyone sharing explicit images or images of child abuse.” Business Insider took issue with that statement, noting that while Instagram removed the offending content, it has not axed the accounts that posted it.
Similar issues on YouTube caused advertisers to flee the Google-owned platform. Last November, YouTube shut down “hundreds” of accounts and removed more than 150,000 disturbing videos of children following revelations that ads from big-name brands were appearing alongside pedophilic and exploitative child content.
The mayor of Houston is exploring options in an effort to “restrict or regulate” the first so-called “robot sex brothel” in the United States that is slated to open this month in the city. “This is not the kind of business I would like to see in Houston and certainly this is not the kind...
Apple’s Safari surfaced links to debunked conspiracy theories and fake news, according to a new report. (AP) Facebook isn’t the only tech firm accused of enabling fake news and conspiracy theories. Apple’s Safari, one of the world’s most-used web browsers, has been producing debunked conspiracies and false information via its “Siri Suggested Websites” feature, BuzzFeed...