Facebook-owned Instagram is limiting its services to prevent any misadventure during the U.S. elections. The platform has done so by temporarily removing the “recent” tab from hashtag pages.
The company announced the development on Twitter, which traced to a whole new problem. Instagram users on Twitter started commenting and asking for account activation. As it turns out, a lot of Instagram users are facing delays in account reactivation.
Instagram Removes “Recent” Hashtags
Instagram said the removal of the recent tab from hashtag pages is done to “make it harder for people to come across possible misinformation on Instagram.” The company’s move is in line with Facebook CEO’s recent concerns about social media’s role during the elections.
The feature has been restricted for users in the U.S. only. Instagram Comms tweeted that the removal is done to “reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content” during the election days. In a nutshell, the platform won’t entertain content that may go viral at the last minute, affecting the elections.
Honestly, it’s a big move, but kind of unnecessary too. Removal of the latest hashtags is likely to jeopardize the Instagram reach of all posts, irrespective of their relevance to the elections. A less harsh and more specific move like targeting hashtags with election-related terms would’ve made more sense.
Twitter: Shots Fired
While its PR team posted the update in good faith, Twitterati had their own issues for Instagram. Multiple users on Twitter started commenting on the post, asking Instagram to activate their accounts.
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An IG account has tagged photos, friends and followers created over a long time. If you were to be locked out of your IG account, you’d want the access back, but it’s not that easy because there’s no real backend support.
Another response asked if the platform will ever have real-time support for users.
We also saw a tweet of two users, asking the relevance of the move.
We can’t call it overkill, because Facebook was blamed for the 2016-election results in the U.S. Now, the company is trying to compensate. While it’s good on the part of social media companies, the approach needs to be more targeted at the elections. Removal of features from apps is disrupting everyone’s experience in the name of moderation.