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13 Oct, 2021 10:48

‘Hate speech’: Instagram removes post highlighting male advantage in sports

‘Hate speech’: Instagram removes post highlighting male advantage in sports

Instagram removed a biologist’s post which highlighted the male biological advantages in certain sports, classifying it as ‘hate speech’ and refusing appeal attempts.

Colin Wright, an evolutionary biologist and the managing editor of Quillette, claimed on Tuesday that the social network had taken down his post referencing a “peer reviewed paper showing male advantage in certain sports activities.”

“They are not giving me the option to appeal their decision, and the post says it has already been ‘reviewed,’” Wright added, calling Instagram’s decision “very concerning.”

A screenshot showed Instagram warning Wright that his post “goes against” its guidelines “on hate speech or symbols,” and that he risks “losing access” to his account in the future if he makes similar posts again.

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The removal shocked other users on social media, with one person commenting, “So you can be punished for saying something true.”

“That’s it lads. We’ve reached the point in the discourse when peer reviewed, scientific fact is now considered ‘hate speech,’” LBC correspondent Matthew Thompson tweeted, while Arc Digital editor-in-chief Berny Belvedere called Instagram’s decision “troubling.”

Instagram’s removal process has long been a source of controversy online, with the social network opting to take down inoffensive posts while allowing violence and threats to remain.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – the nephew of former US President John F. Kennedy – had his Instagram account banned in February for “repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” and other controversial public figures such as Infowars founder Alex Jones and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan have also been purged from the platform.

Despite its trigger-happy removals, however, Instagram has previously refused to remove monkey emojis sent to black football players, violent and racist art depicting the severed heads of white people, and even death threats made towards Iranian Ayatollah Khamenei.

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