It turns out Black Mirror is creeping into real life in some unexpected ways. The dystopian sci-fi series, which focuses on how technology can disrupt our lives, was the inspiration behind Instagram's latest format change. In an interview with The New York Times, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri revealed that one episode of the series stuck out for him.
While he doesn't name any specifics, it's likely "Nosedive," which stars Bryce Dallas Howard in a world where every single interaction is given a five-star rating, creating a rigidly cruel digital caste system. Whichever episode it was, we have Black Mirror to thank for the company's new policy that only reveals the total number of likes on any given post to that person's account specifically.
"We should have started to more proactively think about how Instagram and Facebook could be abused and mitigate those risks," he admitted. "We're playing catch-up," he added, as he explained that he's attempting to learn from the failures of Facebook, which is Instagram's parent company.
Mosseri also teased Project Daisy, which is coming to the photo-sharing platform and its one billion users early this year. "How do we depressurize the app?" is the central question the CEO is asking his team as they continue to implement new changes in their effort to make social media less corrosive overall.
The company drew some attention after an outage over the summer revealed some unnerving things when users looked at their accounts on non-mobile devices. While the images themselves wouldn't display, the site would show vague descriptions of the photos themselves, such as "image may contain: 2 people, people standing and indoors."0comments
Both Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have slowly been phasing in facial recognition onto their platforms over the last few years, in spite of the fact that it's often seen as a step too far into an invasion of privacy. Back in February, users got a message informing them that face recognition would be added to more features on Facebook, which would allow the site to find photos that users were in but were not tagged in.
Back in March, Facebook came under fire when it was revealed that somewhere between 200 million and 600 million users passwords were stored in text files that could be easily accessed by employees. While they were accessible to some 20,000 company employees, they weren't accessible outside the company, so they didn't advise a password reset.