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Instagram - say what you like about the Chinese: we don't care

Editorial Staff

The racism arising from the perceived risk of corona-virus is becoming worrying. A woman using the Instagram name of _neleele_ (the underlines are part of the name) is mounting a one-woman campaign against Chinese people.

Libel, fake news, downright racism is fine, says Facebook owned Instagram. And Change.Org is no help, either.

If you were Chinese, not even living in China, what would you think if you opened your Instagram feed to find this "Thanks for spreading the virus."

Given the assaults on Chinese people happening in the UK and elsewhere, you'd recognise it for what it is - hate speech. It's racist. And, of course, it's libel and it's fake news.

Instagram says "It doesn't go against our Community Guidelines."

The target appealed. Instagram said "we've reviewed _neleele_'s comment again and found that it doesn't violate our Community Guidelines."

So far as the maker of the comments is concerned, the _neleele_ instagram page is set to private. Maybe the photo isn't the account holder, maybe the account holder isn't a young woman, and maybe she's not really called Nele Ele. After all, she's only made 21 posts but her attitudes have managed to garner 403 followers which is a bit scary.

So she's a catalyst for racism.

Her Instagram page promotes her next scheme - a "change.org" petition to ban Chinese people from travelling to Germany. It's based on fake news and false premise. It's in German and in a week itt's got support, but not much. Want to draw it to Change.Org's attention? You have to log-in first - you can't just flag it as inappropriate and then they take a look at it.

It's not good enough and, worse, it normalises racism in ways that has never been so easy before. And Instagram, owned - don't forget - by Facebook which is famous for hosting radical views of all kinds, seems to have learned nothing from the problems that have faced its parent.