Mute White People Button on Instagram

A new button appearing on Instagram reads, “mute white people.”

The Washington Examiner confirmed the button on Instagram Monday, following a tweet bringing attention to the GIF by conservative commentator Katie Pavlich.

“Instagram has a ‘mute white people’ button in stories,” Pavlich tweeted Monday.

Called the “unbothered sticker,” it was uploaded to online database GIPHY by Refinery29, a media outlet aimed at a female audience, GIPHY’s website shows. GIPHY moderates which GIFs are approved to be shared in its library and, subsequently, platforms, such as Instagram.

“To ensure that GIPHY stickers will always be fun and safe no matter where you see them, we have an enhanced moderation process for approving stickers into our library. This is a permanent part of our moderation process and may impact the turnaround time for uploaded content to appear within the Sticker API (which powers partners such as Instagram),” GIPHY’s website states.

Refinery29 has uploaded more than 500 buttons and GIFs to GIPHY, its profile shows. Some of the GIFs include, “Pay Black Women,” “Reparation$$$,” and “Afro-Latina Magic,” and the outlet has received more than 3 billion views on its GIF uploads.

In March, the Heritage Foundation’s social media manager, Lyndsey Fifield, claimed the Daily Signal’s verified status on GIPHY “mysteriously disappeared” after posting anti-abortion and pro-capitalism GIFs.

“Just hours after tweeting this, our verified status on @GIPHY mysteriously disappeared—stripping our gifs and stickers from the gif banks on Twitter and Instagram. The only pro-life & pro-capitalism gifs on IG. I’m hopeful this was a mistake and that their team will resolve it,” Fifield tweeted after saying one of the GIFs she created garnered 39 million views.

The verified status was reinstated soon after, according to Fifield.

“And they admitted they were wrong and reinstated our account without me taking any action. I replied to their email a month ago and (according to them) they just never checked our account again or saw my email before revoking it today,” she tweeted.

The button comes as a renewed conversation surrounding race has been sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day weekend.

In addition to peaceful protests and riots, social media campaigns to fight police brutality and racism have also been launched.

Blackout Tuesday, on June 2, for example, swept across the nation and was intended for social media users within the entertainment industry to remain silent that day in an effort to reflect on the Black Lives Matter movement. Other users shared solid black photos as a way to signify their solidarity with the movement.


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