Flagging as a silencing tool

Carolina Are*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This article investigates Instagram and TikTok’s approach to malicious flagging through users’ experience. Similar to liking, commenting and sharing, flagging is a reaction social media platforms allow users to highlight content that potentially violates community guidelines. However, flagging’s influence on moderation remains opaque: users who flag are largely unaware about the success of their reports; those who are de-platformed cannot be sure if or why their content has been reported, making them feel targeted not just by platforms’ processes, but by the retaliation of audiences themselves. Since the impact of de-platforming on users, and particularly on content creators who work through platforms, can be huge, this study provides scope to investigate flagging as an online abuse technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Early online date12 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2024

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