Just over a year and a half ago, I noted that Instagram hates me. Recently, on my original Medium post, I got yelled at for saying Instagram was “out to get us”. I didn’t say that, of course, and the real point is that impact trumps intent—and the impact is that Instagram’s algorithm hurts my brain. Imagine one morning feeding the cats and doing the dishes, only to return to the kitchen an hour and half later to find one of the cat food bowls is back on the counter and half the dishes somehow are unwashed. This, in part, is what the Instagram algorithm is like for me. To a large degree one of the ways in which I mitigate the problematic aspects of being autistic is through predictability and control. Social media algorithms thwart that. I’m sure someone, somewhere, will roll their eyes at this, but it’s plain as day to me: chronological social feeds should be considered a disability accommodation. I may, in fact, have just used Instagram’s “report a problem” link to formally request an exemption from the algorithmic feed on this basis. It’s shouting into the abyss, but at least the shout is on-the-record.

Hello. My name is Bix. @bix