Instagram Seeks To Make Amends For Cultural Appropriation Of Black Creativity

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By Sabrina Lynch

  • Instagram launched creator tags so that Black and underrepresented creatives receive credit for their content
  • Twice as many white influencers earn over $100K compared to Black influencers

Instagram is finally introducing features on its platform for Black and underrepresented creators to receive credit for their content. The new feature will allow creators to tag collaborators and ‘originators’ of content to their videos or imagery. This is a much needed move to address the inequity faced by People of Color who are the very reason for the continued growth of the world’s biggest social media channels. With twice as many white influencers earning over $100,000 compared to Black influencers, who are the constant go-to source for creativity, leading to appropriation of their original content, does this Instagram move go far enough?

Why This Matters: The influencer market is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2022, however there’s no indication of how this hotbed of new revenue will benefit the BIPOC creators behind its true growth. It’s crystal clear that social media giants have benefited exponentially from the rise of influencer marketing, with big brands eagerly flocking to these platforms to throw money at their database of creators.

Underrepresented influencers are calling out social media channels’ attempt to suppress their content; whilst also having to endure white stars co-opting their content and profiting from it. Nearly half (49%) of Black influencers confessed that their race contributed to an offer below market value. Some platforms have even instituted the practice of shadow banning, that purposefully limits the numbers of views for Black creators. Influencer exploitation is not a good look for longevity in the social media universe.

Situational Awareness: The influencer industry is still unregulated, which allows algorithms and creators to perpetuate inequitable practices. Some social media stars have taken matters into their own hands to stop misappropriation and underpriced contracts, such as the launch of “F*** you, Pay Me”, a hub where influencers can anonymously share their experiences collaborating with different brands.

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Sabrina Lynch

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