Instagram Exec. Says Big Tech Should Step Back

May 22nd, 2022 5:38 PM

The head of Instagram said Big Tech should take a step back from controlling user content.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, did a Q&A with Wired about social media content moderation and the future.

Mosseri acknowledged the controversy of content moderation and said platforms should prioritize user privacy above all else.

“I definitely acknowledge that historical tension. There's a fundamental tension between a centralized platform [like ours] and decentralized technologies like blockchain," he said. "There are very real reasons for that, privacy being paramount.”

He added that changes in the industry forced platforms to take “a different approach” to keep up with the world.

“But the world is changing. The greatest risk a platform faces is not competition, though competition is a huge risk. It is that the world changes to make what you do irrelevant because you are not willing to lean in and change along with the world. And we've seen that for many large companies in many industries. So yeah, this is a different approach than we have historically taken. That just shows that we're open to embracing where the world is going.”

Mosseri noted that Instagram had to balance privacy with safety.

“We can work on more than one thing at once,” he said. “Yes, we have responsibilities to keep people safe, and to be thoughtful about algorithmic responsibility. But we also have a responsibility to deliver value to the people who use Instagram, whether they be creators or average folk. Safety is incredibly important, but if we agree with those who say we shouldn't build anything new as long as anything bad ever happens on Instagram, then we're never going to build anything new ever again.”

He added that “something bad” would happen even if the platform policed content to an extreme level.

“With well over a billion people on our platform, even if we were an order of magnitude better, something bad will happen to someone somewhere,” he said. “That is the harsh reality of what it means to be a large platform.”

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