Teens Get News from Instagram Flop Accounts


Mari Lynn

Examples of Instagram flop accounts

Instagram, a social networking app with over 800 million active users, is best known for its content of memes, hashtags, and stories. However, an increasing number of teens are using this platform to share non-traditional news through flop accounts. Search up the hashtag #flopaccount and you’ll find over 80,000 results. Flop accounts post videos and photos of memes and news articles that are seen as controversial.


These accounts, managed by a variety of teens ranging from 13 to 18 years old, allow for other teens to participate in conversations of politics and social issues. Unlike most teens typical Instagram accounts, flop accounts aren’t updating their followers with selfies, but rather sharing information that they believe is morally or factually inaccurate. In a media environment that can disregard opinions from the youth, teens are able to freely express their own opinions and debate hot-topic issues, such as gun control, abortion, immigration, and the LGBTQ community.  


The Atlantic claims that many teens prefer this alternative source of receiving news over the mainstream media because information isn’t coming from prejudiced news networks.


Through these accounts, teens see crowdsourced opinions of news from liberal and conservative accounts. Followers can argue the truthfulness and relevance of topics, in addition to fact-checking, by interacting with the owners of flop accounts and other followers. You can comment, ask questions, and hear a variety of perspectives. In order to keep the news truthful, flop account owners will conduct research and then remove posts if misinformation is believed to have been shared.


Ryan, 16, joined the flop community because his friend created an account and it appealed to him. As one the admins of @toomanyflops_, he is able to share his views that he doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing with the real world and spark discussion on them.


“It helps me express myself because usually, people don’t want to listen to what I have to say politically. It lets me be out as a trans person, which I can’t be in real life,” he said.


Junior Aliza Hashmi sees flops accounts as a great second source of news.


“I think flop accounts aren’t necessarily something that you use to get all of your news but just to hear other people’s opinions on things that have already happened. It’s a good way to get unbiased news because the people posting on flop accounts aren’t the ones who have written or created the article. So [I] don’t necessarily use flop accounts to get news, but more [to shape my] opinions on news,” she said.