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Instagram Tackles Systemic Bias, Pinterest Improves Feed Ranking

Instagram Knuckles Down On Their Efforts to Address Systemic Bias Within Its Systems

Instagram Cheif Adam Mosseri recently posted a video on his feed during the Black Lives Matter movement pledging to do more to tackle systematic bias. He noted that he wanted to improve Instagrams policies in order to improve the platform, essentially making it a safer place.

To kick start the improvements, Mosseri announced that he will be working on a new Instagram equity team which will focus on addressing bias in all different aspects of Instagrams development.

He goes on to say that: 

“The Equity team will focus on creating fair and equitable products. This includes working with Facebook’s Responsible AI team to ensure algorithmic fairness. In addition, they’ll create new features that respond to the needs of underserved communities.”

Alongside, Instagram have hired a new Director for Diversity and Inclusion, allowing Instagram to develop its systems and enabling the platform to broaden its inclusivity moving forward.

Mosseri further states that Instagram recently updated their policies on hate speech as well:

“We updated our policies to more specifically account for certain kinds of implicit hate speech, such as content depicting blackface, or stereotypes about Jewish people. We also strengthened enforcements against people who make serious rape threats, and we’ll now disable any account that makes these threats as soon as we become aware of them, rather than removing just the content.”

Instagram have also taken the action to expand their warning prompts on comments involving Instagram lives. These warnings have been available to main feed comments for a while now. 

Their verification process is another protocol Instagram have tightened:

“An account must meet certain criteria before we verify it, including a degree of notability. We measure notability through press articles about the person applying for verification. We’ve now expanded our list of press sources we consider in the process to include more Black, LGBTQ+, and Latinx media.”

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Pinterest Outlines Recent Improvements to Feed Ranking, and Video Content

As we mentioned in our previous blogs, Pinterest is still on the rise since the Covid-19 lockdown.

Pinterest noted:

 “Home feed is one of the most important surfaces at Pinterest that drives a significant portion of engagement from the more than 400+ million people who visit each month. From a business standpoint, the home feed is also a revenue driver, where most ads are shown to Pinners. Therefore, the way we surface personalized, engaging and inspiring recommendations in home feed is critical.”

For Pinterest to adapt to this, they have revised their system in order to improve the relevance of its recommendations for people, which has witnessed huge improvements regarding its engagement.

The process for improving recommendations will be taking into account more user actions, and building a system that’s capable of responding to variable inputs. This process has lead to advances in the feed display including:

-The ability to show more relevant pins to users by improving the accuracy of predictions.

– Improved engineering velocity by separating the model predictions from the ranking layer. Pinterest can now iterate on ranking functions by modifying utility terms and in parallel do model iterations.

-Helping businesses by enabling stakeholders to quickly adjust ranking based on business needs.

Video pins are now being prioritised by Pinterest’s algorithm, hence it is crucial for brands and marketers to optimise this change in strategy to fully maximise their potential.

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