In March 2020, #Sikh was blocked from both Instagram and Facebook and now it has been unblocked by the social media platforms. Facebook and Instagram have said that the hashtag was blocked by mistake after an inaccurate review of a report in March.
As mentioned by Engadget, Instagram has also cleared it out that the company came to know about the blocked hashtag on June 3, 2020, and it soon investigated the whole scenario. However, Facebook took a few hours more for unblocking the hashtag as compared to Instagram.
Previously, when anyone searched the #Sikh, a message was displayed that said “Posts for this hashtag are temporarily hidden because of unusual activity that may not meet Instagram’s Community Guidelines.” A lot of users showed their rage on Twitter and said that Facebook is against the free speech of people.
the hypocrisy of @facebook's approach to free speech:
zuckerberg says fb’s principles prohibit him from blocking trump as he incites violence & hate.
meanwhile as sikhs raise their voice to mark the injustices of 1984: sikh hashtags are blocked.@instagramcomms do better. https://t.co/wk53NvKbIz pic.twitter.com/vMEw7f02Gv
— rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) June 3, 2020
This is an incredibly important, painful time for the Sikh community. We designed hashtags to allow people to come together and share with one another. It's never our intention to silence the voices of this community, we are taking the necessary steps so this doesn’t happen again
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) June 3, 2020
Further, in the tweets, the official Instagram handle said that they became aware of the block only when someone tweeted the same and mentioned them.
The platform assured the people that they will review their own filtering policies and will try to avoid any incidents like this in the future.
Other Incidents Apart From Instagram #Sikh Block
2/ Given the increase in content shared to #blacklivesmatter, this technology is incorrectly coming into effect. We are resolving this issue as quickly as we can, and investigating a separate issue uploading Stories.
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) June 1, 2020
Instagram ran into another bug in which some posts with #blacklivesmatter displayed the message “Action blocked” when users tried sharing them This has happened for the second time in a week due to Instagram’s spam detection system. A lot of users were unable to post or put up a story using the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.
However, the company said that it addressed the issue and minimized the number of users who saw the action blocked message while using the hashtag.