Among social media networks today, both Facebook and Instagram actively police and inhibit nudity on their respective platforms. Under current standards, users cannot post their nude bodies even for artistic purposes. However, because of a controversy with Black influencers, Facebook and Instagram are relaxing their nudity policy.
Back in August, Nyome Nicholas-William, a Black plus-sized model, posted an artistic photo of herself nude but covering her breasts with her arms. The photo promoted Nicholas-Williams’s self-love and celebration of her own body.
Spotting a potential infringement over their policy, Instagram moderators censored the photo and threatened to take down Nicholas-Williams’s account. The moderation resulted in heavy controversy from the influencer and her supporters, decrying selective censorship. Despite the moderation, white, skinnier models posted even more revealing shots of themselves without repercussions, they argued.
Now, because of the protest, Facebook and Instagram are changing their nudity policy starting this week (via The Guardian). The new policy will ease up on restrictions on breast squeezing, as depicted in Nicholas-Williams’s censored shoot.
At the time of the censoring, breast squeezing was regulated because “it can be most commonly associated with pornography,” according to Instagram. The platform enforces a stringent policy against nudity to reportedly protect users under the age of 13.
However, upon further reviewing today, Instagram admits the wrongful application of the ruling on the self-love shoot. Now, under the new policy, users can now post similar poses for artistic purposes. The company hopes that the new policy will ensure fair ruling across the platform regardless of race or body size.
Snapchat is also developing a TikTok rival
Of all the platforms today, Snapchat is probably the only one that doesn’t need a TikTok rival. Other social media platforms already developed their own alternative to TikTok (or, essentially, a short-form video-sharing feature). Despite already being a short-form video-sharing platform itself, Snapchat is also developing a TikTok rival.
Called Spotlight, Snapchat is offering a slightly different system for its TikTok alternative. Instead of a follower system, Spotlight will display shared video in a public tab, granting users more exposure.
Compared to the trend-heavy TikTok, Snapchat is more lifestyle-oriented, allowing creators to share their daily lives privately for followers. Snapchat’s new Spotlight expands the platform’s reach toward trends and content creation.
To entice users, Snapchat is offering a share of US$ 1,000,000 from now until the end of 2020 to users who make the feature’s front page.
Due to its public nature, Snapchat is moderating Spotlight’s content and will not allow public comments. Further, the 60-second videos cannot come with a watermark. Basically, TikTok content cannot pop up on Snapchat’s Spotlight feature.
Currently, Spotlight is only available in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. However, Snapchat is promising functionality in more countries soon.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says social media platforms can be addictive
But Mark Zuckerberg isn’t fully convinced yet
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, said that social media sites could be addictive. He further added that companies have to be aware and acknowledge the issue to ensure “customers are aware of better usage patterns. The more information, the better here.”
The chief executive officers of Facebook and Twitter appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss content moderation and the 2020 election.
Both Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were questioned by Senator Lindsey Graham on whether the platforms they built can become addicting for the customers who use them.
However, Zuckerberg had a significantly different answer. He said that he hadn’t seen any internal research that points to Facebook being addictive and said the platform is not designed that way.
“From what I’ve seen so far, it’s inconclusive, and most of the research suggests that the vast majority of people do not perceive or experience these services as addictive or have issues. But I do think that there should be controls given to people to help them manage their experience better, and this is something that we’re very focused on,” Zuckerberg said.
Twitter was also questioned about its policy on the spread of misinformation. Delaware Senator Chris Coons further asked why the social networking site doesn’t have a misinformation policy against climate change. Dorsey replied that their priority was “to focus on the highest severity of harm.”
Facebook and Twitter have been at the center of the 2020 US Presidential elections since the spread of misinformation has reached new heights and is being used to manipulate the outcome.
Twitter is launching its Stories-like feature worldwide
After a long beta phase
Back in June, Twitter announced its first disappearing messages feature. Though an experiment at that point, the new feature brings the social media platform into the fold of other platforms with the same functionality. Now, after a lengthy beta period, Twitter is launching its Stories-like feature worldwide.
Previously, the feature — officially called Fleets — came first to Brazil, India, Italy, and South Korea. Fleets are now coming to other countries worldwide.
Much like Instagram or Facebook Stories, Fleets will last only for a day. The feature includes compatibility for text, photos, and videos. Twitter, like others, is a public record of one’s thoughts and opinions, oftentimes to the detriment of one’s personal life. Fleets offers a compromise, allowing temporary ways to share thoughts.
Users cannot like or retweet Fleets, placing the feature away from the pressure of accumulating engagement. Replies will fall to direct messaging, instead of public responses.
Twitter is also testing a new audio feature called Spaces. The audio feature will allow users to engage in conversations inside chatroom-like groups. The platform has not announced when the feature will finally debut.
At least, users can now enjoy Fleets. Twitter is getting an essential feature, further extending its lifespan atop networks.
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