Instagram is updating its algorithm after being accused of censoring pro-Palestinian content. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has changed its algorithm after a group of its employees reportedly complained that pro-Palestinian information was not visible to users during the Gaza conflict.
The app previously prioritized original content over existing, re-shared posts in its "stories" feature, but it will now treat both equally, according to the company. The current system had a "greater impact than anticipated" on certain types of posts. However, Instagram stated that this was an unintended consequence rather than an attempt to censor any particular point of view.
According to BuzzFeed News and the Financial Times, the Instagram employee group had made a number of appeals regarding content that had been banned by Instagram's automated moderation, such as posts about the al-Aqsa mosque that had been accidentally erased.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have been chastised in recent weeks for how they have surfaced — or not surfaced — content related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Twitter restricted the account of a Palestinian writer earlier this month, which it later said was done "in error."