July 19, 2019 9:39 PM Subscribe
"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.(The Verge, via Super Punch)
User kanyewestnandos — who posts the same meme of the rapper in a Nando’s — says tag cleaning offers protection that goes beyond simply reporting a malicious account. “It is harder to witch hunt the people who are posting graphic material because they can change their username,” they say. “And if they eventually end up getting reported they can make a new account.” Some photos or disrespectful memes may not violate Instagram’s rules, meaning they stay up. Another tag cleaner, a 15-year-old named Valerie, says that it’s a fast way to push images to the bottom of an account. “If you just report, it is likely that it won’t get taken down immediately and people will have enough time to save the picture and spread it, which is what we’re trying to avoid,” she says.
[...] “Tag cleaning in combination with mass reporting is the way to combat the trolls,” says Naomi, one of the tag cleaners. “If we only relied on reporting, the tags would still be flooded with ‘those photos’ while IG removes them. Not to mention, IG doesn’t always remove them or they take their sweet time. They also won’t remove memes that don’t use the graphic photo obviously because it doesn’t break community guidelines.”
[...] Naomi describes the time posting and tagging and refreshing and reporting as draining. She doesn’t encourage anyone to get into it blindly, especially for those putting themselves in a position to repeatedly see graphic content. “It’s not for the squeamish, I particularly feel some level of desensitization from you know ... the internet and shock culture so I felt like I could do this.”
[...] For Instagram’s tag cleaners, the growing community has proven to be invaluable. Naomi says she shoulders the burden so that others won’t have to. “It’s good to know that there’s others doing just as much as you,” she says.
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