Instagram denies the accusation of censoring pro-Palestine sentiments during the recent conflict between Gaza and Israel.
The app claims that it prioritizes original material over re-shared material in its ‘stories’ feature, therefore giving the reason behind pro-Palestine stories having fewer views than others. It claims it treats both equally.
During the recent Gaza crises, social media apps were actively used by both sides to show support for both Palestine and Israel, pro-Palestine messages were more common than pro-Israel.
Instagram users sharing pro-Palestine stories claimed that their Instagram stories got less attention under the present circumstances compared to other stories shared.
As reported in BBC News, a spokeswoman from Instagram said they were prioritizing original posts over re-shared ones and the company believed that users were more interested in original stories than re-shared ones.“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 said.
“This applied to any post that’s re-shared in stories, no matter what it’s about.”
The spokeswoman also said the company had seen this issue over a long period, and it was not solely a reaction to the recent controversy.
Instagram stated this newly announced transition towards equal weighting of original posts and re-shared stories would happen over time, rather than being an instant change.
According to the spokesperson, Instagram still thinks that users want to see more original stories and is exploring new technologies to help focus on original content.