May 31, 2021
The resurgence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has exposed the bias of Instagram’s algorithm based on the type of content it needs to moderate.
It is a group of employees of the social network which raised the alert by noting that pro-Palestinian content was regularly automatically censored by Instagram’s algorithm.
The content was not actually censored, but relegated to the background because of a rule that Instagram applies to content that is republished, which is the case with the vast majority of content posted on the conflict in the Middle East. Instagram is generally present in its news feed or in its stories original content before reposted content. This will no longer be the case since the social network, which is owned by Facebook, has announced that it will grant a weighting equal to both.
Social networks to the test
Facebook assures that this change is not a direct response to the concerns raised by a potential censorship or withdrawal on the platform. Instagram’s parent company specifies that the rule that original content takes precedence over others has been applied to all content so far.
News in the Middle East is once again testing social networks and their moderation. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have each been criticized in recent weeks on how they moderated content related to the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Another reminder: the moderation of content by social platforms is still not optimal and probably never will be.