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Better Instagram Post Removal Transparency

This petition had 1,222 supporters

Instagram has always been a wonderful place to communicate with other people. From sharing personal experiences to bringing awareness to different ideas and groups, Instagram has become a very significant highway for human communication and interaction. With more than 700 million active users, Instagram has become a major hub for businesses, groups, and individuals alike. Although Instagram is revered by all for its liberal community guidelines and its commitment to friendly debate, many individuals are often left with distaste when Instagram removes a post that seemingly follows the well-meaning community guidelines. Most individuals are often left bewildered and agitated when they are left in the dark about what post of theirs was removed and why.  The notorious phrase "We removed your post because it doesn't follow our community guidelines" without an explanation has done more harm than good. This phrase oftentimes leaves account owners in constant disarray with an intense anger towards Instagram itself. And in the end, how can people truly understand why their post was deemed inappropriate if they don't understand how their post breached community guidelines? Further, how can Instagram expect anyone to follow the rules if they aren't told what rules they violated? Now obviously people can just read the community guidelines and try to make sense of what rule(s) they violated, but how can someone truly learn from their mistake if the removal itself is debatable? To make matters worse, Instagram has no appeals process for content recently removed so ultimately the post, as well as the number of likes and comments on said post, are permanently removed from existence. This presents a problem to many users who are victims of false flagging campaigns brought on by a number of different reasons. So in order to increase Instagram's popularity and user happiness, while also maintaining proper security and enforcement of the community guidelines, I propose that Instagram's process of post removal becomes more transparent for the individual account owner.



In order to make Instagram's post removal more transparent, these are the changes that I, and the signers of this petition, would like to see going forward:

1. The disclosure of the deleted post to the account owner 

2. The direct citing of text from the community guidelines as the foundation for the specific removal of content

3. An option to make an appeal about a recently deleted post 


Since the requested changes can be construed in multiple different ways, it is important that certain parameters are set so the changes made can solve the problem. For the first request, the main focus is allowing account owners to distinguish the deleted post from all the other posts which they have shared. This is important because it allows the account owner to understand what post is in violation of the community guidelines and it sets a proper precedent for the reasoning behind its removal. It is understandable that Instagram might have to edit the original post in order to remove nudity, hateful symbols and words, and inappropriate language, but the edits made should not completely obstruct the ability of the account owner to identify the image/video removed.  

For the second request, the principal focus is to make it comprehendible for Instagram account owners to understand exactly what they are violating so they can perhaps change the nature of their posts in the future to avoid another post deletion. This is vital for the Instagram community at large because it will help everyone understand the boundaries of what is appropriate and what is not while also keeping Instagram a fun and safe place to communicate with other people. This change will also alleviate the confusion and frustration felt by many individuals who are victims of post removal by giving those users a clear reason as to why their post was subject to deletion from the platform.  

For the third and final request, the core focus of creating an appeals process is to give individuals a way to feel that their content and opinions are safe if they follow the community guidelines but are subject to post removal due to online trolls and false flaggers. The significance of this new process cannot be overstated and it would definitely please a vast majority of Instagram users, even those who have not yet had any posts subject to removal. The adding of an appeals process would solve any problem that one might have involving post deletion and it would continue to keep hate speech and inappropriate content found on Instagram at a bare minimum. It is acknowledged that an appeals process for a deleted post may take an extended period of time which some might find sluggish, but it is noteworthy to remember that a slow moving appeals process would make more users happy than a nonexistent appeals system. 


In the end it doesn't matter if Instagram institutes these changes or not, because Instagram will always be a popular internet platform for both individuals and businesses alike. However, these small changes would greatly increase the overall happiness of the 700 million and counting active users on Instagram.  






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