Facebook-owned Instagram is never too far away from censorship issues. Recently, the tech giant has made changes to its algorithm after a group of its employees reportedly complained that pro-Palestinian content was not viewable for users during the conflict in Gaza.
Instagram typically surfaces original content in its stories before reposted content, but will now begin to give equal weighting to both.
As reported by BuzzFeed News and the Financial Times, the Instagram employee group had made numerous appeals about content that had been censored by Instagram’s automated moderation, such as posts about the al-Asqa mosque being mistakenly removed. The employees didn’t believe the censorship was deliberate, according to FT, but one said that “moderating at scale is biased against any marginalized groups.”
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have been criticized over the past several weeks about how they have surfaced — or not surfaced—content around the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Earlier this month Twitter restricted the account of a Palestinian writer, which it later said was done “in error.” And Instagram ended up apologizing after many accounts were unable to post Palestine-related content for several hours on May 6th, a move that head of Instagram Adam Mosseri tweeted was due to a “technical bug.”