LONDON: Instagram announced on Monday that the platform would be making changes to the way it displays content after receiving accusations of censoring Palestine-related content during the latest wave of violence in Gaza.
The “stories” feature on Instagram was built according to an algorithm that favors original content as opposed to existing and re-shared posts. Therefore, any Palestine-related content that was shared from other accounts was pushed lower in the Instagram feed.
Instagram said that according to the old algorithm, posts about certain viewpoints appeared to be suppressed but that this was an unintended side-effect of the way the algorithm was established rather than an intentional attempt to censor this particular content.
This comes after thousands of Palestine-related posts were deleted from the platform and much pro-Palestinian content on social media was found to carry warnings.
Under the new scheme, which Instagram said it would introduce gradually, all posts and stories will be treated equally. This means that the app will not favor original content over re-shared posts.
A report in mid-May from 7amleh, the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, revealed that Instagram had violated the digital rights of Palestinians in more than 250 instances, whether by deleting posts, censoring information or taking down accounts.