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Instagram whistleblower account Diet Madison Avenue just shut down

Instagram whistleblower account Diet Madison Avenue just shut down
[Photo: lucia/Unsplash]

Diet Madison Avenue (DMA), an Instagram account aimed at calling out sexism and discrimination in the ad industry, has shut down. The account’s removal comes just weeks after the collective announced it would move ahead as a nonprofit organization.

It’s not clear what prompted the shutdown or whether the site will return. DMA said in a tweet today that it may have been hacked, or that it may have been shut down due to being reported by Instagram users.

We reached out to Instagram for comment.

The account is run by an anonymous group of 17 people and has faced harsh criticism for its tactics. DMA has publicized discreet firings and linked certain high-profile ad men with sexual harassment. Some critics say the account engages in bullying. In recent weeks, an opposition account appeared on Instagram.

Supporters say the reason Diet Madison Avenue and other similar “whisper networks” exist is because offices, human resource departments, and legal systems have failed to protect women from predatory colleagues and bosses. They are often used as a way of alerting women to men who may sexually harass them. But whisper networks and lists are unpopular, because the information they share is often anecdotal. Critics of such tactics say accused men are entitled to due process before they’re judged.

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