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After Censoring Pro-Palestinian Content, Instagram Changes its Algorithm

No more shadow banning?

Speaking out against wrongdoings is always a good idea. If you’ve ever been hesitant, just take this into account. After weeks of users calling out Instagram for censoring pro-Palestinian content, the Facebook owned app made some major changes to its algorithm to make sure that doesn’t happen again. 

The move comes after the most recent conflict in Gaza, wherein Palestinians and people around the world shed light on the events through social media, in effort to bring awareness and garner support for the Palestinian cause. But users couldn’t help but notice drops in their story views upon sharing Palestine-related content—namely infographics. 

As it turns out, Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes original content in its stories, with reposted content ranking second. But after a group of employees reportedly complained, Instagram’s algorithm was changed so that all content holds the same weight. 

As reported by Time, Instagram employees complained about the company restricting access to Arabic-language posts—posts and hashtags with the word ‘Al-Aqsa’ while Israeli police attacked Palestinian protestors at the holy site, for example. 

According to the Financial Times, Facebook reported that the move was not deliberate, rather a mistake by an artificial intelligence system. 

“[it] caused people to believe we were suppressing stories about particular topics or points of view,” explained an Instagram spokesperson in a statement. “We want to be really clear – this isn’t the case. This applies to any post that’s reshared in Stories, no matter what it’s about.”

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