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Is Instagram a Trap for the Young & Beautiful??

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The New York Times recently chronicled the dangers of Instagram by telling the story of photographer Marcus Hyde, who has been accused by several women of engaging in inappropriate behavior, “including soliciting nude photographs from models in exchange for shooting them.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock

By: Quentin Karismo

The New York Times recently chronicled the dangers of Instagram by telling the story of photographer Marcus Hyde, who has been accused by several women of engaging in inappropriate behavior, “including soliciting nude photographs from models in exchange for shooting them.”

Hyde’s story, which the Times said has played out almost entirely on Instagram,” reveals “just how much the platform, beloved of the fashion and visual art worlds, has enabled bad behavior within those industries. Amid all the conversations around privacy and the dangers of data use, less attention has been paid to the ways social media can be used by predators.”

Suffice it to say that in the wake of his actions, Instagram decided to disable Hyde’s account “for violating our sexual solicitation policies,” according to Stephanie Otway, a spokeswoman, who said he violated its policies. “We want to keep our community safe, and we are focused on putting every measure in place that we can to protect people on Instagram. Expression is at the heart of what we do, and people will only express themselves if they feel safe and supported.”

Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, the pair behind Diet Prada, told the Times via email that “Social media has changed the landscape of the traditional modeling industry, enabling anyone to create public personas and navigate independent modeling work or carve nonconventional image-based career paths.”

Many are quick to point out that social media, including Instagram, is rife with opportunities for some users to get into trouble. As Business Insider recently noted, “Some millennials say they’re sinking thousands of dollars into crafting perfect Instagram photos.”

Last year, the New York Post recounted the unfortunate tale of Lissette Calveiro, a 26-year-old who dug herself into a $10,000 hole on Instagram. “Calveiro says she splurged on designer handbags, expensive clothes, and luxurious vacations while working low-salary jobs, including an internship in New York. She told the Post that she would shop for clothes “to take the perfect ‘gram” and that she was living above her means. “I was living a lie,” she said, adding: “Debt was looming over my head.” Calveiro said a lot of the travel she did “was strictly for Instagram.”

Model Sydney Lima told British Vogue magazine her own story last year about what the publication called “The Dark Underbelly Of Instagram.” An email from a man who had seen her photos on Instagram – and wanted to know about her availability as an escort – made her afraid for her own safety.

“Women are constantly expected to be flattered by or brush off abusive messages,” Lima wrote. But a single such event “can have a long-lasting effect on a woman’s self-worth and mental health. In a survey taken last year, 66 per cent of women who have experienced online abuse stated that they felt a feeling of powerlessness in their ability to respond to abuse or harassment online.”

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