It has happened to me three times, last night being the third time. I would hear people talk about it and think that it was preposterous, why would they even want to but by the third event I could no longer ignore what was happening.
Instagram was silencing me and many other creatives of color, all while under the guise that they support Black creatives. Instagram has become the spot! nobody blogs anymore. Blogs have become obsolete in this Instagram world, but be careful Instagram can build you and break you. In 2019 I did a branding workshop with “Love not Likes” Jamaica, an Influencer management company. One of the things I focused on was the importance to build brand outside of Instagram, I also advised them to have their own platform like a website where they can link their posts back to. The platform has changed a lot since it first started just over ten years ago. The constant algorithm changes, the one million ads, I barely if ever see people I follow anymore.
2021 is a very trendy year to support “Black” in America, Black owned businesses, Black influencers, Black models the list goes on. 2021 has become the year it’s safe to say you support “Black Lives” but that’s it, all you have to do is say it, you do not have to prove it. The first time a post was deleted was something from my stories, I don’t remember what it was, but I remember them calling it violent. The second post was me wearing jeans, my original caption read – “When I said I wish you well I was joking, I hope you get hit by a bus you demon” Of course this was said In jest but Instagram deleted it and when I reposted the picture changing the caption, they limited the visibility.
I asked for the post to be reviewed and they still didn’t allow it. I’ve seen posts with guns and offensive things on Instagram but this is what Instagram deemed as violent. A couple days ago I saw another black creative on instagram complaining in her stories about what Instagram was doing and how they were purposely making sure that certain accounts did not get seen. I uploaded an instagram reel where I talked about re-gifting myself a gift from an ex. In the caption I told women not to ask for quality time from a man, but instead things that never faded like jewelry or purses or I would beat them with my dogs ultra plush bed. Instagram also deemed this as violent and deleted the post. Saying it was inciting violence. I could show them 500 other posts that were violent but none of those people were black women. I reposted the Reel and noticed immediately a post that had over 200 comments in less than 30 minutes was now struggling to get a 100 likes. To spite me they limited who could see the post.
That’s when to hit me that the very core of social media had died!!! A new gatekeeper has arrived, and everyone must go through him. I’ve always had my website but got really lazy with posting, my last post was in April and before that maybe months had passed. My business and all of my updates all go through Instagram, I barely email my subscriber list. I’ve gotten lazy, we all have. Im so busy and tired all the time I don’t have time for much, but I had to ask myself seriously did we give our power away unconsciously.
Ask yourself what would really happen if Instagram deleted my account? What if they just decided this account was not worthy to be on their platform for whatever reason? As a creative and business woman, this is a question I ask myself daily. Another platform I don’t utilize enough and I probably should because they have not switched up on me yet is Twitter. But the point still remains I need to focus on. the platforms I CAN control. Needless to say I want everyone to be very careful and like I said in my workshop a website/blog might seem pointless but IT”S YOURS!!!!! You have control of that medium so make sure you have one and you utilize it.
What do you guys think, have you experienced any of what I’m talking about?