Instagram is shifting the way it showcases content as a consequence of being accused of spreading pro-Palestinian messages during the recent Gaza conflict. Therefore, the company says it will work on ranking original and re-shared content equally.
While Instagram usually surfaces original content in its stories before reposted content, it will now begin to equally display both, after a group of its employees allegedly complained that pro-Palestinian content was not on display for users during the conflict in Gaza saying that “moderating at scale is biased against any marginalized groups.”
According to the company, this was an unintentional side-effect rather than an effort to censor any particular viewpoint.
Reports by BuzzFeed News and the Financial Times stated that the employee group had repeatedly advised on the content that had been censored by Instagram’s automated moderation, including post referring to the al-Asqa mosque being mistakenly removed.
According to a company spokeswoman, Instagram decided to prioritize original posts because most Instagram users are “more interested in original stories from their closest friends”.
“It’s also caused people to believe we were suppressing stories about particular topics or points of view. We want to be really clear – this isn’t the case”, she explained.