Instagram favours the scantily dressed, study finds

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If you’re seeing more scantily clad women in your Instagram explore than you’d like then that because of the social media platform algorithm.

A report by Algorithm Watch found that Instagram boosts “scantily-clad” photos on users’ newsfeeds

The non-profit organization that aims to shed light on algorithm decision-making, found that women in underwear or bikinis are 54 percent more likely to appear and bare-chested men are 28 percent more likely to appear on your newsfeed.

Algorithm Watch asked 26 volunteers to download a browser add-on that automatically opens their Instagram at regular intervals and records which posts appear at the top of their newsfeeds.

Researchers also asked them to monitor which photos from 37 creators were placed the highest on their feeds.

The experiment was conducted from February to May 2020 and analyzed more than 2,400 photos.

“If Instagram were not meddling with the algorithm, the diversity of posts in the newsfeed of users should match the diversity of the posts by the content creators they follow,’ Algorithm Watch shared in a blog post.

The report suggests that the occurrence of the images could be that the users engage more with these type of posts or it could be Instagram’s way of encouraging influencers to share more semi-nude photos.

However, an Instagram spokesperson told Dailymail that the research is flawed.

“This research is flawed in a number of ways and shows a misunderstanding of how Instagram works.”

“We rank posts in your Feed based on content and accounts you have shown an interest in, not on arbitrary factors like the presence of swimwear.”