At the end of July, Instagram massively purged large meme accounts and ignored complaints from content creators who earned money on deleted pages. Now the social network has taken the first step towards reconciliation – it began to look for a person for the position of “expert on memes,” who would establish a connection between the leadership and dissatisfied teenagers who have lost their pages. This was noticed in The Atlantic.
Instagram has deleted more than 142 popular accounts with memes. Both repost pages and original content were cleaned. The largest account had 13 million subscribers. The total number of subscribers was 30 million people. Account administrators sold ads and received revenue from it.
The authors of the meme pages tried to appeal the decision, but to no avail. A Facebook spokeswoman told The Atlantic that Instagram had deleted accounts because they “repeatedly violated social media rules and also tried to interfere with internal processes.” Some of the pages were allegedly deleted due to the sale and purchase of usernames. The page administrators stated that they did not violate any rules, and could not even contact representatives of Instagram or Facebook.
At the end of 2018, Instagram conducted a similar purge, but the rebuff from users did not lead to any changes. The last purge gave rise to dozens of petitions on Change.org demanding the restoration of accounts: “These attacks not only affected accounts with reposts who made money on this, but also the creators of the original content that spent years promoting. All messages from the support are incomprehensible and vague. We want answers, we want changes, but most importantly, we want account recovery. ”
Instagram decided to listen to the audience. On August 6, the company opened a recruitment for the position of head of cooperation with strategic partners. His responsibilities include working with “digital publishers” – as the social network calls the administrators of meme accounts. Lila King, head of Instagram news and partner relations, told The Atlantic that the future “meme expert” will have to keep an eye on social media trends, as well as help existing meme authors — both old large accounts and the new generation of content creators. – teenagers.
Representatives of the social network said that the employee will have to reconcile the leadership with one of the fastest growing communities of Instagram. According to statistics that the social network provided to the publication, content with memes is shared 7 times more often than any other: “Memes have become the most popular way for young people to consume information on the platform.”
The community of meme creators has become really powerful. Traditional media are increasingly using the meme format … We think that we need to get to know each other better and begin to better understand the meme community, as we have something to learn from them.
Leela King Head of Instagram News and Partner Relations
Many meme accounts publish content from TikTok, YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter, often without mentioning the authors. In most cases, you need to make a lot of efforts to find the creator of the original photo or video, because the content is reloaded several times on different platforms.
The publication of other people’s content, especially without attribution, is a direct violation of the rules of the platform. Social network permits users to “publish only those photos or videos that they created themselves, or those that they have the right to share.” King sympathizes with users who have lost their accounts by unknowingly violating these rules. Representatives of Instagram hopes that the “expert on memes” will help the platform change, and the creators of the content will no longer consider social networks as their enemy.
However, teenagers who manage meme accounts were skeptical about the initiative of the social network. 16-year-old Lewis Weed, who lost several pages with a million subscribers, told the publication that a “meme expert” would be useful only if he began to communicate directly with content authors: “All we ask Instagram is to talk with us, not to ignore and fool us. This is annoying. If you decide to destroy someone’s hard work, then at least state the reasons, and do not unite us with people who really break the rules. Most of us have done nothing wrong. ”
Cam, a 16-year-old account creator who had half a million subscribers before the cleanup, suggested creating a “influencers bench” that would have the opportunity to chat directly with a representative of a social network specializing in memes: “It is important that Facebook and Instagram notice a teenage meme “community because we are the future.” He hopes that Instagram will find a person who understands Internet trends: “They need to hire an active member of the meme community no older than 25 years old.”
Representatives of Instagram partially agree: “Ideally, we need a person who is well versed in memes and publishing content on the network. Strong communications specialist, good community manager. Almost a unicorn, ”said King.