Instagram ‘advertises’ itself on Facebook with rape threats

Instagram has come under fire for advertising itself on parent company Facebook’s platform with a screenshot of an email that read “I will rape you before I kill you”.

The Guardian reporter Olivia Solon had posted the image to her feed a year ago. Her caption read: “This is an email I received this afternoon. Sadly this is all too common for women on the internet. I am sure this is just an idiot rather than any kind of credible threat but it’s still pretty vile.”

The post garnered three likes and a host of comments, and it seems Instagram thought this an engaging post with which to advertise itself.

A spokesperson told The Guardian that the ad was not a paid promotion, but rather a way to show non-Instagram users what their friends are posting in a bid to get them to join the platform. This means that a number of Solon’s friends were could have seen the post.

Facebook has had a tough month when it comes to dodgy advertising.

Earlier this week, it was found that advertisers were able to target those who self-identified as “Jew haters” — and yesterday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally announced that he was handing over ads that may have to do with Russians tampering in the 2016 US election.

The company has reported that it could have earned up to US$150 000 from Russian propaganda.

This incident further brings into question Facebook’s advertising algorithms and the lack of safety measures it has in place.



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