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17 Instagram accounts showcase how important feminism is in 2018

There’s no surprise that feminism was the word of the year in 2017. After 2016’s political rollercoaster, people began using their voices, platforms, and actions to demand change. 

However, the overwhelming demand to stay in touch with what’s going on in the world can be exhausting especially when it comes to social media. But, there are many accounts using their online presence to spread more good than bad.

They’ve made it their job to promote empowerment, information and overall positivity for the next 12 months. 

So, here’s a list of organizations, companies and online communities to follow to make 2018 the year of prosperity:

The Women’s March became one of the largest inaugural protest in United States history. According to the website, it brought in over six million women and allies around the world.

Social media is a great opportunity to continue on the movement, so their account always tries to inform their followers on the next big project. 

The TIME’s UP movement introduced at the 75th Annual Golden Globes calls out the sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender bias in the workplace. It’s a call to action on the inequality and the newly made Instagram points out letters from female farmworkers to quotes from powerful women in Hollywood.  

In over two weeks, the account has over 553,000 followers and counting. However, the number of followers online is nothing compared to the millions of followers fighting in real life for change. 

Now, immediately you think, ‘Why is a dating app on the list?’ Well, the women-owned business gives women the chance to make the first move. They take charge in developing relationships in business, friendships and dating. 

Bumble uses bold typeface to prove a point in not only the dating world, but what women face everyday from catcalling to societal gender roles. 

Gurls Talk is a social platform for women to share their experiences on topics ranging from body positivity to anxiety. The safe space was founded by Adwoa Aboah, a model and activist, who wanted to create an online safe space for all women to be apart of.

The account primarily provides art and quotes made from powerful illustrators, celebrities and more. 

Sad Girls Club is an online community that sheds light on mental health and dismantling the stigma around it. The online platform was inspired by the founder Elyse Fox’s documentary about her life with depression. 

The almost one year community strives to create a support system and provide services for girls who don’t have access to therapy and treatment. 

MAKERS is a platform that highlights female trailblazers from Oprah Winfrey to Lilly Singh. They’ve created original content and encourage others to tell their own stories with MAKERS Stories. 

The account caters to powerful quotes, clips from their interviewees and highlights from the media.

The Girl Mob is a New York-based online platform catered to women of color. Their mission is to bring solidarity through events, personal essays, and their very own podcast.

The vibrant account promotes art, sexuality, and equality for women. It also promotes events to bring and grow their community. 

The online book club, Our Shared Shelf, was created by Emma Watson. The actress wanted to share her favorite books and essays on equality with her Goodreads group. 

The feminist book club highlights a book of the month and some of the 260,000 and counting readers. 

Five For Feminism creates visualization to bring up a variety of women issues. For every post, the owner of the account donates $5 to a charity related to the post. 

The donations have gone to places like Project Heal, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Planned Parenthood to name a few. 

Girlboss was created by author and entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso for women to take charge of their decisions whether it’s in the workplace or personal life. 

According to their website, there community is made up of “strong, curious, and ambitious women redefining success on our own terms.” It’s determination is shown on social media with positive quotes and fellow ‘Girl Bosses.’ 

Women Interrupted is a mobile app to channel the “mansplaining” or “manterruption” women face on a daily basis. The app’s goal is to detect the interruption, record the conversation and analyze the data. 

On Instagram, the tech start-up developed their ‘Portraits Of Silence’ to depict women from around the world who’ve been interrupted or silence by their male counterparts. 

She Should Run is an initiative to not only get women to run for office, but bridge the representation gap of women leadership in politics. The non-partisan’s mission is to provide support and education those interested in this career.

The movement started since the 2016 election and according to the website, over 15,000 women have been inspired to run for office. 

Feminist Fight Club, based off the novel of the same name, lets women be unapologetically themselves. The account features memes, typography and online forums to get their followers involved. 

Women in the World is an annual summit that brings together leaders, activists and trailblazers who’ve made it their mission to make a change in women’s lives around the world. 

The summit shared stories from people like Hillary Clinton, Melinda Gates, and Oprah Winfrey to name a few, while the social media highlights these moments for people who didn’t get the chance to attend. 

Global Fund for Women is an organization that invests their time and money on women movements. They are a support system and a resource for people to get involved with these groups.

The foundation’s philosophy is to simply trust women. They’ve mentioned that, “Women are the best agents of change in their communities, and giving them resources and voice can change the world.” 

Ladies Get Paid have a simple mantra, “Help women get promoted and get paid.” They have town halls, workshops and events for women to learn, discuss and participate in women issues. 

The network has helped women with communicating in the workplace, starting their own business and even investing. It’s growing community lives on and offline. 

Planned Parenthood is important more than ever before with the debate around women’s reproductive health care. The 100-year-old non-profit strives to provide health care, sex education and a resources to everyone around the world. 

They strive to use their Instagram account as a visual tool for information and educate their audience on where their reproductive rights currently stand. 

Now, adding new accounts to your list may not change issues, but it can start a conversation. The first step to following a cause is learning and be surrounding my others with the same passion for a change.

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Why I deleted the Instagram app — and you should think about it too

Instagram has never been my favorite app, perhaps because I love reading words more than staring at photos. But beyond that core element, it’s continued to be the bane of my existence — at least while writing about the tech industry, chatting with friends, and watching the world around me strain to be more “Instagrammable.” 

I understand some people — maybe a decent amount of Instagram’s 500 million daily users — are inspired by the photos they see in their feeds. For my colleague Miriam Kramer, her highly curated Instagram account is a much-preferred distraction to the Facebook app. For one of my best friends Lizza Monet Morales, Instagram is part of her career as an actress, TV host, and social media personality. 

For me, Instagram is a place of fakeness, humblebrags, and harassment, and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore. That’s why when I got an iPhone X for Christmas and started fresh by not restoring from backup, I didn’t bother downloading Instagram. 

For some, Instagram is a creative outlet, a place where they find happiness spending hours searching for “Instagrammable” moments, taking the perfect shot, choosing the right filter, thinking up a caption with the appropriate hashtags, and waiting to post at the exact right moment. And then, sometimes they delete it if they don’t get enough “likes,” and okay, that’s their choice. For others, Instagram is just a mindless and relaxing way to start or end their day or to take a break. 

For me, it’s a place where I’ve showed off some happy moments of my life, and I don’t really know why. I mean they’re nice memories. It’s like a scrapbook, but why does my scrapbook need to be public? Why does each picture in my scrapbook need a number of likes and the potential for comments? 

Let’s take a brief look at my Instagram: 1) Margaritas 2) White House press briefing room 3) Puppy at startup event [and evidence of me wearing the same dress too close together] 4) Me on the beach with an ex 5) A video of Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s F8 conference 6) Badge from F8 

Select photos from my Instagram account.

Select photos from my Instagram account.

Image: @kerrymflynn

Okay, so maybe I just suck at Instagram. I’m not one to look for the perfect shot or “Instagrammable” moment. When I do, it’s a tongue-in-cheek move. But what I can tell from myself is that I really don’t need Instagram. These shots would be better kept in my Camera Roll, or if I wanted the world to see them I go to Facebook or go to Flickr or something. I don’t need a public-facing scrapbook of my life, and I want you to ask yourself if you need one too. 

Of course, Instagram is not all about you and your feed. It’s where you can keep up with friends or obsessions you have. For me, that’s the dogs of Instagram, but I don’t think I need to have them accessible on my phone at all times. When it comes to friends, I know a lot of mine have moved from sharing Snapchat Stories to Instagram Stories. But I don’t feel like I need to see whatever they’re boasting about via one photo or video.

Instagram Stories isn’t fun, at least not for me. I tried Instagram Stories back in November after a 14-month-long protest. Before I posted my first Instagram Story, I spent an hour with Kay Hsu, the global Instagram lead at the Facebook Creative Shop, at one of Facebook’s offices in New York. She took me through what Facebook calls “Stories School,” a training session the company regularly hosts for marketers. 

“Okay, this is going to be really hard, but it’s worth it,” Hsu told me as she explained how to make text have a rainbow gradient. 

I found myself saying, “Whoa” and “Cool,” as Hsu walked me through a bunch of the features I may not have discovered as quickly on my own. I experienced the instant gratification, via “likes” and DMs, you get from posting your first Instagram Story. But high engagement comes at a cost. I was quickly reminded my Instagram audience includes young family members. 

Yeah, Instagram Stories had a few unique functionalities that I loved using, but what frustrated me the most about Instagram Stories was the pressure I felt with every post. I had myself thinking intently about everything I shared or considered sharing. I was curating posts based on what I deemed “Instagrammable”: order Starbucks, attend a work event at Facebook NY, drink champagne, twirl in a sparkly skirt. Very, uh, basic activities. 

All that and there’s just the sour taste that Instagram leaves in my mouth. I personally love using Snapchat, and all of Facebook’s copycat moves annoy me. “How do they sleep at night?” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel’s wife Miranda Kerr asked, referring to Instagram employees, and I agree as I watch Instagram transform into a Snapchat wannabe. 

I’m also over the fake followers and bot networks. The black market of Instagram verification where people pay THOUSANDS of dollars to get a blue check from Instagram employees, as I exposed in August, is ridiculous and the fact that Instagram refused to address it on the record with me is BS. 

I’m sick of the Instagram algorithm, and the fact that they don’t seem to care so many people would rather have it return to chronological order. 

The bra and fitspo ads that invaded my feed, as well as the feed of wonderful human Lauren Hallden, are ridiculous and unnecessary to have in my life. 

And I never want to see a comment like this on one of my photos again. 

Image: screenshot from @kerrymflynn feed

So, I’m done. What about you? 

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Supreme Patty: The obnoxious Instagram star who smokes hot sauce for likes

Social media has leveled the playing field for stardom. Anyone with a smartphone and a strong will can find themselves with millions of followers, effectively turning their presence and content into a full-fledged business. But a following of millions often comes with a price — like lemon juice in your eyes.

Supreme Patty, a 20-year-old who hails from Daytona, Florida, boasts more than 2.5 million followers on Instagram and can best be described as a modern day version of Johnny Knoxville from MTV’s Jackass. His feed is filled with stunts and skits, most of which put himself in a compromising situations — like squeezing lime juice into his eyes and going snowboarding. That one landed him in the hospital.

He’s also pretty well known for putting random stuff inside of his bong. In August, Patty filled one up with some Slurpee at a 7-Eleven. Patty rips the bong inside the store, then drinks some of the colored sugar ice before running out seemingly without paying. He later smashed the bong. 

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Patty made a joint using tortillas. He’s also smoke weed using a Bugle chip through his nose, was allegedly arrested in Los Angeles last year for inciting a riot, and smoked a bong using hot wing sauce. Yes, after he was done smoking with the hot sauce, he poured it on a chicken wing and ate it.

You get the point — Patty is using the model a lot of social media stars follow to gain a following: Do ridiculous, often obnoxious things, film it, and post it to social media. And with each video it seems like he gets more and more extreme. Patty started out eating hot dogs really fast. Now he’s getting the Supreme logo tattooed on the inside of his lower lip and smoking weed out of gas cans just a few feet from a pump station. 

It should also be noted that some of Patty’s antics are obviously staged. It sort of reminds me of the scripted stunts that used to come out of Vine, but just longer and a little more brutal.

It’s easy to hate on an attention-seeker like Supreme Patty, but there is a side to him that can be quite endearing. Patty’s not the swaggering type you often find among other Instafamous stars and YouTubers. He’ll show himself in vulnerable situations, like going to the doctor for acne treatment. And in what may be the weirdest display of self-deprecation Patty has dubbed himself “the CEO of the Lil Dick Gang.” 

Bragging about having a small penis is not what you’d expect from someone trying to “make it.” But Patty does things his own way. And he sort of manages to mock the way everyone else is doing things in the process.

It’s easy to compare Supreme Patty to other social media stars like Jake or Logan Paul. They all rap, sell merch, produce short form video, have a young following, and pull pranks. But Patty is weirder, a bit more extreme, and pushes the limits way more aggressively than most of the stars on YouTube. He’s that annoying kid from high school that was always acting up and getting in trouble, except he’s 20 and he has an audience of 2.5 million people on Instagram.

Love him or hate him Supreme Patty has made a name for himself in a short amount of time, and there’s no sign of him slowing down.

Mashable attempted to speak with Patty, but after setting up an interview he ignored our calls. 😢

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube praised for “steady progress” quashing illegal hate speech in Europe


Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are likely to be breathing a little easier in Europe after getting a pat on the back from regional lawmakers for making “steady progress” on removing illegal hate speech.

Last week the European Commission warned it could still draw up legislation to try to ensure illegal content is removed from online platforms if tech firms do not step up their efforts.

Germany has already done so for, implementing a regime of fines of up to €50M for social media firms that fail to promptly remove illegal hate speech, though the EC is generally eyeing a wider mix of illegal content when it talks tough on this topic — including terrorist propaganda and even copyrighted material.

Today, on the specific issue of illegal hate speech on social media, it was sounding happy with the current voluntary approach. It also announced that two more social media platforms — Instagram and Google+ — have joined the program.

In 2016 Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft signed up to a regional Code of Conduct on illegal hate speech, committing to review the majority of reported hate speech within 24 hours and — for valid reports — remove posts within that timeframe too.

The Commission has been monitoring their progress on social media hate speech, specifically to see whether they are living up to what they agreed in the Code of Conduct.

Today it gave the findings from its third review — reporting that the companies are removing 70 per cent of notified illegal hate speech on average, up from 59 per cent in the second evaluation, and 28 per cent when their performance was first assessed in 2016.

Last year, Facebook and YouTube announced big boosts to the number of staff dealing with safety and content moderation issues on their platforms, following a series of content scandals and a cranking up of political pressure (which, despite the Commission giving a good report now, has not let up in every EU Member State).

Also under fire over hate speech on its platform last year, Twitter broadened its policies around hateful conduct and abusive behavior — enforcing the more expansive policies from December.

Asked during a press conference whether the EC would now be less likely to propose hate speech legislation for social media platforms, Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality commissioner Věra Jourová replied in the affirmative.

“Yes,” she said. “Now I see this as more probable that we will propose — also to the ministers of justice and all the stakeholders and within the Commission — that we want to continue this [voluntary] approach.”

Though the commissioner also emphasized she was not talking about other types of censured online content, such as terrorist propaganda and fake news. (On the latter, for instance, France’s president said last month he will introduce an anti-fake news election law aimed at combating malicious disinformation campaigns.)

“With the wider aspects of platforms… we are looking at coming forward with more specific steps which could be taken to tighten up the response to all types of illegal content before the Commission reaches a decision on whether legislation will be required,” Jourová added.

She noted that some Member States’ justice ministers are open to a new EU-level law on social media and hate speech — in the event they judge the voluntary approach to have failed — but said other ministers take a ‘hands off’ view on the issue.

“Having these quite positive results of this third assessment I will be stronger in promoting my view that we should continue the way of doing this through the Code of Conduct,” she added.

While she said she was pleased with progress made by the tech firms, Jourová flagged up feedback as an area that still needs work.

“I want to congratulate the four companies for fulfilling their main commitments. On the other hand I urge them to keep improving their feedback to users on how they handle illegal content,” she said, calling again for “more transparency” on that.

“My main idea was to make these platforms more responsible,” she added of the Code. “The experience with the big Internet players was that they were very aware of their powers but did not necessarily grasp their responsibilities.

“The Code of Conduct is a tool to enforce the existing law in Europe against racism and xenophobia. In their everyday business, companies, citizens, everyone has to make sure they respect the law — they do not need a court order to do so.

“Let me make one thing very clear, the time of fast moving, disturbing companies such as Google, Facebook or Amazon growing without any supervision or control comes to an end.”

In all, for the EC’s monitoring exercise, 2,982 notifications of illegal hate speech were submitted to the tech firms in 27 EU Member during a six-week period in November and December last year, split between reporting channels that are available to general users and specific channels available only to trusted flaggers/reporters.

In 81.7% of the cases the exercise found that the social media firms assessed notifications in less than 24 hours; in 10% in less than 48 hours; in 4.8% in less than a week; and in 3.5% it took more than a week.

Performance varied across the companies with Facebook achieving the best results — assessing the notifications in less than 24 hours in 89.3% of the cases and 9.7% in less
than 48 hours — followed by Twitter (80.2% and 10.4% respectively), and lastly YouTube (62.7% and 10.6%).

Twitter was found to have made the biggest improvement on notification review, having only achieved 39% of cases reviewed within a day as of May 2017.

In terms of removals, Facebook removed 79.8% of the content, YouTube 75% and Twitter 45.7%. Facebook also received the largest amount of notifications (1 408), followed by Twitter (794) and YouTube (780). Microsoft did not receive any.

According to the EC’s assessment, the most frequently reported grounds for hate speech are ethnic origin, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia.

Acknowledging the challenges that are inherent in judging whether something constitutes illegal hate speech or not, Jourová said the Commission does not have a target of 100% removals on illegal hate speech reports — given the “difficult work” that tech firms have to do in evaluating certain reports.

Illegal hate speech in Europe is defined as hate speech that has the potential to incite violence.

“They have to take into consideration the nature of the message and its potential impact on the behavior of the society,” she noted. “We do not have the goal of 100% because there are those edge cases. And… in case of doubt we should have the messages remain online because the basic position is that we protect the freedom of expression. That’s the baseline.”

Facebook needs to kill the News Feed

What is the Facebook News Feed for? 

In 2018, the answer is less certain than ever. Mark Zuckerberg now says it should be “good for people,” like kale, polio vaccines, or any number of things that aren’t data-harvesting, Russian propaganda-boosting social networks.

And so, Facebook will alter your feed to favor content posted by friends and family — particularly if it’s generating a lot of comments — while minimizing stuff from brands. Everyone’s spent a lot of time parsing what this algorithm shift means, but here’s an educated guess: Not much! 

Facebook has announced very similar changes before (in 2015 and 2016). Ultimately, fiddling with the News Feed results in nothing more than a fiddled-with News Feed, not something fundamentally different and better. 

Zuckerberg wants “meaningful” interactions to occur on Facebook’s most important real estate: the unending feed you encounter the moment you open your app or navigate to Facebook.com. This would have been a nice thought 11 years ago, before everyone had too many bad Facebook friends and “liked” so many pages.

The social network has promised yet another update to its product, but it hasn’t acknowledged the very real possibility that the product itself is fundamentally broken — that the News Feed should be dissolved and replaced with something else. 

It surfaces bogus information, it’s filled with trashy videos from viral content factories with names like “90s KIDZ☆ ONLY,” and it rewards irritating political opinions from your distant relatives and high school acquaintances. Turning the volume up on comments and down on posts from media outlets isn’t going to fix any of this. 

Besides, even if you absolutely hate seeing publications in your News Feed, they’re not disappearing. Facebook will continue to rank them along with every other bit of content in your News Feed — though you may have to scroll further to see any. 

You'll still see news from media outlets in your News Feed, but there will probably be less of it — or, you'll have to scroll deeper to find it.

You’ll still see news from media outlets in your News Feed, but there will probably be less of it — or, you’ll have to scroll deeper to find it.

Image: CHRISTOPHER MINESES/MASHABLE

Here’s the major issue Facebook is dancing around: The News Feed isn’t designed to be social. Maybe it was in 2006, when Facebook launched the very first version of the News Feed as a chronological list of recently-posted content or actions from your friends. 

“It updates a personalized list of news stories throughout the day, so you’ll know when Mark adds Britney Spears to his Favorites or when your crush is single again,” Ruchi Sanghvi, a News Feed product manager, wrote at the time.

But five years later, the product evolved into something very different. The News Feed as we know it now really dates back to 2011, when the feature was infused with content-sorting algorithms that attempt to show you posts that you’ll find relevant. 

Then, News Feed was described as “your own personal newspaper.” 

“You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff,” Facebook’s Mark Tonkelowitz wrote. “All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top.”

The Facebook News Feed circa 2006, when posts were sorted chronologically rather than by an algorithm.

The Facebook News Feed circa 2006, when posts were sorted chronologically rather than by an algorithm.

This 2011 update is the blueprint for the modern News Feed. It’s a sorting tool, not a social one. 

Yes, people post and comment on material published on the social network, but a more common use, according to at least one study (if not your lived experience), is to “passively” scroll through the News Feed. In that way, Facebook isn’t really “social” at all: It’s an individual act of content consumption. It’s a newsreader.

There’s so much content on Facebook that a chronological feed isn’t viable for consumers, so News Feed needs to rank it. But a sorting tool doesn’t create content or erase it. If you don’t like what you’re seeing on your News Feed right now, chances are you won’t love what’s coming.

Facebook may routinely shove against the notion that it’s a media company, but a lot of the content that needs to be sorted on its platform is traditional media: Video, photographs, articles. Personal material is mixed in (and will be ranked highly moving forward), creating a content soup without an obvious purpose.

Let’s take a snapshot of my feed right now:

  • First post: A woman who was a year behind me in high school, whom I haven’t talked to or consciously thought about in at least 11 years, is giving birth and wants to sell her Bulls tickets. 

  • Second: An ad for Bonobos.

  • Third: A friend announces a promotion! Although, he first tweeted about it nine days ago.

  • Fourth: Two friends of mine shared a CNN video, with heartfelt and positive comments.

  • Fifth: A relative shared a video from NowThis Politics. Her only comment was a crying emoji 😢, though a quick “conversation” ending in a #MAGA hashtag happened beneath.

This is a mess, but it’s the kind of mess Facebook likes: All of it, except the ad, was generated by actual people. Some of it was re-shared from publishers, but most of it had a personal flavor regardless and a lot of precious engagement (and comments!) from other users.

The major problem — and the one Facebook says it’s trying to fix through algorithm tweaks — is that none of it feels meaningful or compels personal interaction from me, the consumer. You could call this a “me” problem, except it must be typical: So many of us are connected to people we don’t know all that well on Facebook that to engage on a personal basis is uncomfortable at best.

One possible outcome of the algorithm tweak is that you’ll see more conversations you don’t want to be an active part of, which, depending on your perspective, isn’t much better than seeing articles you may or may not want to click on. 

The much larger issue here is that Facebook is so damn big, and old, that its News Feed can’t possibly work for everyone. While it’s championing “meaningful” personal interactions now, there’s a good chance that you’re more likely to have those on iMessage, Snapchat, Instagram Stories, or, bless ’em, Twitter DMs. Or maybe you’re having them on Facebook Messenger! Or in Facebook Groups, which the social network has started to promote and already serve a number of substantial communities.

In a sense, Facebook already has solutions to the “good for people” quandary: other Facebook products! The News Feed, a hyper-crowded politicized zone with years of baggage, cannot be the place for meaningful interactions now. It’s noisy, it’s overcrowded, and an algorithm change won’t save it — it’s fundamentally been this way for years.

If Facebook wants meaningful interactions in this main part of the app, it needs to burn the sucker down and start anew. 

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