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Social media says “no” to hate speech

Social media says “no” to hate speech

The Innovation team at Instinctif harness the best of the future to deliver market-leading ideas in the present. The team’s specialism spans digital strategy and marketing, data & analytics, and strategic brand. With the world and news agenda fast-changing around us, now’s the time to get agile in how we think and work.

This newsletter brings you the best of the week in the ‘new normal’, straight from the desk of the Innovation team.

In musician Nick Cave’s most recent Red Hand Files newsletter, he compares cancel culture to “bad religion run amuck.” But simultaneously, social media behemoths are publicly recognising the social impact of (largely) unrestricted sharing – and taking steps to quiet those who impart damaging views.

Facebook last week announced it would be banning images of blackface and anti-Semitic content as part of changes to its Community Standards guidelines. This is to clamp down on racial stereotypes and anti-Semitism – adding to the growing list of conditions which may ban a person from an online platform.

This comes after rapper Wiley created a social media furore by posting a thread of anti-Semitic comments on his Twitter account at the end of last month. The resulting action was the rapper’s ban from various networks, and a call for social media platforms to tighten their policies around hate speech, from Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Wiley was banned in a gradient: first for a few hours from Twitter, before being banned for seven days, and then, eventually, permanently. He was also issued a seven-day block on Instagram after posting there – Facebook issued a statement saying there was “no place for hate speech on Instagram”. Many high profile individuals boycotted Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for 28 hours following his online tirade. YouTube responded by removing Wiley, as did TikTok.

Last week, Facebook released its Community Standards Enforcement report, making it a quarterly instalment from now on.  The report produces data from April to June 2020, detailing how the platform is preventing and taking action against content that violates their policies. The report cites that content actioned for hate speech increased from 9.6 million pieces in Q1 2020 to 22.5 million in Q2 2020. This highlights the growing need for social media networks to address this trend, and constantly adjust its preventative approach in line with the changing landscape.

As we’re increasingly bombarded with unrestricted, unedited views pelted into our feeds with the click of a mouse, the prudent moves of Facebook and friends seem a step on the path towards a more conscious state of sharing.

Tool of the week

This week’s tool is more of a heads-up: Facebook has long since been vocal about its plans to bring together the messaging functions of its cohort of apps: Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. And now it seems the wheels are well and truly in motion.

According to The Verge, several editors this weekend “noticed an update screen popped up in Instagram’s mobile app with the message “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram” with a list of features including a “new colorful look for your chats,” more emoji reactions, swipe-to-reply, and the big one: “chat with friends who use Facebook.””

Once the merging happens, users on one app will be able to communicate with connections on other platforms. Welcome to the future, where you can WhatsApp others on Facebook, looping in a friend on Instagram. It’s the brave new world of messaging.

Top tool

This week’s tip comes from Associate Partner, Harriet Chamberlain:

As the number of countries added to the no-fly list increases and the UK looks set for ten days or so of solid rain and thunderstorms, it’s likely that all of us will engage in some mindless Instagram scrolling. Follow these accounts to introduce some travel-inspired creativity to your feed:

Shutterstock, a stock photography provider, isn’t just home to generic boardroom photographs. Their Instagram account features work from their online gallery with highlights ranging from incredible food photography to inspiring landscapes from around the world. It’s a great place to learn about what’s trending on both Instagram but also amongst image buyers.

This account features imagery which you’d expect to see from a Wes Anderson film – twee details, bright colours, symmetrical pastel facades and quirky interiors. It features photography from places where Anderson has filmed such as India and Paris but also other locations which just fit his aesthetic. It will make you want to watch his movies (perfect for a rainy evening) and become more aware of the world around you when you do venture outside.

One of the best things about travelling can be the hotel you stay in. Maison Flaneur sells homeware and clothing items from some of the world’s best boutique hotels including the Surfrider in Malibu and the Hotel Amour in Paris, so even if you can’t travel there right now, you can still buy a piece of it and pretend otherwise. Their Instagram account is full of visual inspiration that will make you want to redecorate and get you planning holidays for 2021 and beyond.

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