Instagram to change algorithm after accusations that it censored Palestinian content

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| Palestinians abroad |

Palestinians and pro-Palestine activists were highly critical of Facebook and Instagram after Instagram stories containing information about violence against Palestinians in the Gaza strip were deleted.

According to reports by Buzzfeed and the Financial Times, Instagram employees appealed to the company after content about events like the storming of al-Adsqa mosque by "Israeli" soldiers were censored by the platform’s automated moderation feature.

The platform also apologised for the restriction of Palestinian accounts from posting to the app, which they said was the result of a technical bug.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri tweeted about the bug, saying "Yesterday we experienced a technical bug, which impacted millions of people’s stories, highlights and archives around the world. For people impacted by this bug, they saw their stories that were re-sharing posts disappear and their archive and highlights stories were missing." 

The core issue with Instagram’s algorithm is that it favours original content in stories rather than reposted content, so reshared content about the situation in Palestine had less traction. Now, it will give equal priority to both reshared and original content.

According to a statement from a Facebook spokesperson to publication The Verge, this resulted in people thinking that the app was quashing certain content but, “we want to be really clear – this isn’t the case.”

“This applied to any post that’s re-shared in stories, no matter what’s it about.”

Source: This news first appeared in Bandt

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