Instagram ‘Tag Cleaners’ Are Fighting Against Digital Vandalism

Megan Farokhmanesh, writing for The Verge:

Tag cleaners, as they call themselves, drown out gore, harassment, and more by flooding a user’s tagged photos with pleasant images. It’s benevolent spam. The most prolific accounts are usually reposting the same images ad nauseam in quick bursts. Randomfloweracc, run by a 17-year-old named Lori, uses cartoons like Rilakkuma or Hello Kitty. Naomi, owner of cute.cleanup, is also partial to Sanrio characters and rainbows. […]

Instagram appears to have removed all of the tagged photos of Devins’ death, but there’s little to stop abusers from creating new accounts and restarting the cycle again. In the days following her death, The Verge noticed waves of these photos, both originating from the same accounts constantly reposting, as well as multiple new accounts cropping up. Reports filed by The Verge usually resulted in photos being taken down in minutes; but in some cases, that’s all it takes for any user to see them to begin with.

What these “tag cleaners” are doing is clearly good. It’s heartwarming that they spend so much time on this. But it’s heartbreaking that they have to do this in the first place. If Facebook truly cared, they could stop this hateful trolling in its tracks.

Saturday, 20 July 2019