Instagram’s Employees Complained About Pro-Palestinian Content Not Being Viewable Due To Insta
Instagram’s employees reportedly complained that Instagram’s algorithm has been censoring pro-Palestinian content as it wasn’t viewable for users during the heated conflict in Gaza. The social media giant typically surfaces original content in its stories before reposted content, but the company confirmed that it will begin to give equal weighting to both.
According to BuzzFeed News and the Financial Times, a group of Instagram employees made several complaints about censored content done by the app’s automated moderation. While the employees didn’t believe that the censorship was deliberate, one of them said that “moderating at scale is biased against any marginalised groups.”
The Facebook owned company didn’t only change the algorithm due to the pro-Palestinian content, Instagram realised that the app was bubbling up posts that it believes its users care about the most, which led people to believe it was hiding or suppressing certain topics or content. “We want to be really clear— this isn’t the case,” the Facebook spokesperson said. “This applied to any post that’s re-shared in stories, no matter what it’s about.”
On 6 May, many accounts were furious over the fact that they couldn’t post Palestine-related content for several hours, a move that head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri tweeted to confirm it was due to a “technical bug”.
Many people thought we were removing their content because of what they posted or what hashtag they used, but this bug wasn’t related to the content itself, but rather a widespread issue that has now been fixed. — Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) May 7, 2021
That said, the spokesperson mentioned that Instagram believes users are more interested in seeing more original stories, so it is looking on ways to focus stories on original content through new updated tools.