Instagram is going to start surveying some users about race


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By Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News

The platform said it needs to “collect and measure” demographic information to “better understand different experiences people may have on Instagram.”

A person using a smartphone, technology that has bolstered the popularity of social media platforms such as Instagram (Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images file)

Instagram will begin surveying some of its users about their race and ethnicity in an effort to better serve historically marginalized communities, it said in a blog post Thursday.

The optional survey will ask users what race they identify as, said Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram.

In a video on his social media accounts, Mosseri said that if the company is going to ensure that the platform is equitable, it needs to understand how it’s working for its users.

“We know that groups that have been historically marginalized disproportionately contribute to creativity, toward pushing culture forward,” Mosseri said. “So it’s in our interest to make sure that Instagram is as great an experience as it can be for all communities, for all individuals, no matter how they identify.”

The survey, which is optional for users who are asked to participate, will be hosted by YouGov, an international research group. Texas Southern University, the University of Central Florida, Northeastern University and Oasis Labs will partner with Instagram to assess the data. An aggregated assessment of the data will later be shared with Instagram, according to Instagram’s blog post.

Discover Instagram’s efforts for equity.

Social media has been a mixed bag for the Black community: contributing to violence, leading to arrests of protestors, and censoring content but also serving as a forum to discuss today’s social movements.

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