Instagram: Algorithm Shows Shocking Videos to Adults Who Follow Minors’ Accounts

Shocked man looking at his smartphone

If you are using the app tiktokThe following scene seems familiar to you: You watch a video, then you scroll down the page a little, you come across a video similar to the first, you start it and continue like this until you are satisfied. The social network algorithm is examined to determine what you like, the content you view in general and then always offer you more. The goal is to keep you there for as long as possible to keep you from falling into the “endless scroll spiral” and therefore to make you see more ads.

This system is the adopted system reels On arrival in 2020 instagram. Meta, the social network’s parent company, hasn’t tried to hide its desire to be like TikTok, which it feels threatened by. on the contrary Facebook For example, the recommendations displayed on Reels are not content that has been “liked” or recommended by people on your friends list. They come from any source. teams Wall Street Magazine Based on this observation, he began to conduct an experiment. The results are clear.

Following underage accounts on Instagram makes the Reels algorithm very strange

From newly purchased mobile phones, without any historytesters only subscribed to: accounts held by minors : gymnasts, cheerleaders and other influencers under the age of 18. When they realized this, they did this The vast majority of the thousands of subscribers to these profiles were adult men. After that, all that was left was to wait for the Reels algorithm to recommend videos for you to watch. Here is an example of the resulting array.

First comes a video of a person caressing the face of a life-size latex doll, followed by an ad for the dating site Bumble, followed by a video of a young woman with her face digitally masked. She pulls her shirt up to reveal her stomach. Another time, in an advertisement for the restaurant chain Pizza Hut, we watch a clip of a man lying on a bed with his arm around a girl who, according to the text on the screen, is 10 years old. These already disturbing results are just the tip of the iceberg.

Instagram shows pornographic videos of adults and other children in sexualized situations

Going further, WSJ journalists subscribed to the accounts of some people who followed minors’ Instagram profiles. The algorithm then starts displaying the net content. A woman showing her crotch, a young dressed girl caressing her torso, a boy imitating sexual acts… These videos are regularly interspersed with advertisements for famous brands. Walmart, Disneydating site company Match Group and even Wall Street Magazine itself.

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When contacted, most advertisers He called on Meta to take immediate action to rectify the situation. There are others Stopped all advertising campaigns on Instagram and other platforms from Mark Zuckerberg’s group. The parent company stated that it initiated an audit carried out by an independent company, with its own expenses covered. It also explains that the WSJ’s experience does not reflect the experience of the social network’s billions of users.

The ads displayed include massage parlors offering sexual services, similar dating apps, and even artificial intelligence chatbots specializing in cybersex. Normally, Meta prohibits this type of advertising on its services. In parallel with the tests carried out by the American newspaper Canadian Child Protection Center He did it himself and the results are the same. The agency is concerned about “the capacity of meta algorithms to recruit new members to online communities dedicated to child sexual exploitation, where links to illegal content proliferate in more private forums.”