"Flop" Accounts Latest Way to Bully on Instagram

Sara Manavis writes about Flop accounts in an article for New Statesmen America. Flop accounts are fake accounts usually run by groups of teenagers dedicated to mocking, insulting, bullying and making fun of specific people or groups.

The anonymity provided by a flop account make the people behind them bold, resulting in out of control toxic behaviors.

It is troubling to see online bullying happen. It is scary to not know who is behind it.

Bouman Attacked Online After Achievement

The Guardian contributor Jill Filipovic calls our attention to the online harassment and abuse Dr Katie Bouman has experience since her monumental achievement photographing a black hole.

Filipovic recounts, “Trolls created fake social media accounts impersonating Bouman. They questioned her contribution to the project. When she said that she was part of a team who all worked hard to make the photo happen, they dug in deeper, suggesting she was only getting public attention because she was a woman, when men did all the real work.”

How do social platforms keep up when bad actors create fake accounts to attack people?

Twitter CEO Talks Harassment at Ted Talk

ABC News covered Jack Dorsey’s latest Ted Talk in which he addresses the platform’s problem with toxic behaviors like harassment and hate speech. Audience members and those streaming the talk lobbed tough questions at the CEO.

ABC News highlighted a tweet from The Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr,

"Ooh exciting. @jack is taking questions from Twitter users live at TED today. Anyone?? I’d like to know why a video that showed me being beaten up & threatened with a gun to soundtrack of Russian anthem stayed up for 72 hours despite 1000s of complaints, @jack? #AskJackAtTED,"

Clearly the platform is struggling to address toxicity at scale and consistently. It has publicly shared its interest in using AI to help.