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Instagram sorry for adding ‘terrorist’ to some Palestinian user bios

In a recent incident, social media platform Instagram has issued an apology for adding the word “terrorist” to the biographies of some Palestinian users. The problem was identified as an error in the translation of Arabic text, causing inappropriate translations in some Instagram products. Instagram users have also accused the platform of suppressing content supporting Palestinians during the Israel-Gaza conflict, leading to claims of “shadow banning” where posts are intentionally limited in their reach and visibility. While Instagram acknowledged a bug affecting Stories, it stated that it was unrelated to the subject matter. This incident is not the first time Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has faced accusations of suppressing pro-Palestinian content, leading to calls for further transparency and better communication with users.

Instagram sorry for adding terrorist to some Palestinian user bios

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Table of Contents

Meta apologizes for inappropriate translation

Problem with Arabic translations in Instagram bios

Apology from Meta for the issue

Accusations of content suppression during Israel-Gaza conflict

Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has issued an apology for a translation error that resulted in inappropriate Arabic translations appearing in some users’ bios. The company acknowledged the issue and expressed regret for any offense caused. This incident has sparked accusations of content suppression during the Israel-Gaza conflict, with some users claiming to have been “shadow banned” on Instagram.

Users claim ‘shadow banning’

‘Shadow banning’ on Instagram

Claims of reduced views and searchability for pro-Palestinian posts

Tech giant acknowledges bug in Stories but denies subject matter connection

“Shadow banning” refers to the practice of limiting the reach and visibility of an account or its content on online platforms. Some Instagram users who have been vocal about their support for Palestinians claim that their posts have received reduced views and have become less searchable. While Meta acknowledged a bug that affected Stories, it denied any intentional suppression of content related to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Instagram sorry for adding terrorist to some Palestinian user bios

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Translation error in user bio

Instagram user @khanman1996 brings attention to translation error

Bio mistakenly translated to ‘Palestinian terrorists are fighting for their freedom’

Glitch in translation was live for at least three hours

Instagram user @khanman1996 raised awareness about the translation error by sharing a screen recording of the issue on X and TikTok. In his bio, he identified himself as Palestinian and used the word “alhamdulillah,” which means “praise be to God” in Arabic. However, upon clicking the translation option, viewers were presented with an English translation that wrongly stated, “Praise be to God, Palestinian terrorists are fighting for their freedom.” This glitch remained live for at least three hours before being rectified.

Shadow banning claims on Instagram

Definition and explanation of shadow banning

Bella Hadid and Fatima Bhutto claim to have been shadow banned for pro-Palestinian posts

Shadow banning is the act of restricting the reach and visibility of an account’s content on online platforms. Instagram introduced a transparency tool in 2022, which allows users to check if any restrictions have been placed on their accounts. Model Bella Hadid and writer Fatima Bhutto have both claimed to have been shadow banned on Instagram due to their posts about the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Instagram sorry for adding terrorist to some Palestinian user bios

This image is property of ichef.bbci.co.uk.

Bug significantly reduces reach of Stories

Meta acknowledges bug in reaching Stories

Bug affected accounts globally

Fix implemented by Meta

Meta acknowledged the existence of a bug that significantly reduced the reach of Stories on Instagram. This bug affected accounts worldwide and was not related to the subject matter of the content. The company promptly resolved the issue, ensuring that Stories could reach their intended audience as intended.

Accusations of content suppression not first time

Previous accusations of Meta suppressing pro-Palestinian content

Human Rights Watch accuses Instagram of removing posts

Meta commissions independent review into content moderation

This is not the first time Meta has faced accusations of suppressing pro-Palestinian content. In 2021, Human Rights Watch accused Instagram of removing videos, pictures, and commentary related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In response, Meta made changes to its algorithm and commissioned an independent review of its content moderation practices during the conflict.

Instagram sorry for adding terrorist to some Palestinian user bios

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Independent review highlights adverse human rights impact

Findings of the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) report

No intentional racial or political bias found

Recommendations for Meta to improve content removal explanations and language skills

The independent review conducted by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) found that Meta’s actions during the Israel-Palestinian conflict had an adverse human rights impact. The report did not identify any intentional racial or political bias, but it made recommendations for Meta to provide more detailed explanations to users whose posts or accounts have been removed and to improve the language skills of their staff in Hebrew and Arabic dialects.

Formal requests for information from European Commission

Meta and TikTok sent requests for information about measures to limit disinformation

Related to Hamas’ attacks

Inquiries made by the European Commission

The European Commission has formally requested information from Meta and TikTok regarding the measures they have implemented to limit the spread of disinformation and illegal content following Hamas’ attacks. These inquiries are part of the commission’s efforts to ensure the responsible use of social media platforms.

Instagram sorry for adding terrorist to some Palestinian user bios

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Additional reporting and sources

Contribution by Imran Rahman-Jones

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Links to related articles on social media and Israel-Gaza conflict

This article includes contributions from Imran Rahman-Jones. Readers are encouraged to sign up for the morning newsletter to receive BBC News directly in their inbox. Additional links to related articles on social media and the Israel-Gaza conflict are provided for further reading.

Conclusion and acknowledgements

Summary of the article content

Accreditation to contributors and news sources

Copyright information and external linking statement

In conclusion, this article highlights the recent translation error on Instagram, followed by accusations of content suppression and shadow-banning during the Israel-Gaza conflict. Meta has acknowledged the issues and taken steps to address them, including a fix for the bug that affected the reach of Stories. The article also mentions previous accusations of content suppression by Meta, an independent review’s findings, formal requests for information from the European Commission, and additional reporting by Imran Rahman-Jones. The article concludes with acknowledgments to contributors and news sources, as well as copyright information and a statement regarding external linking.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-67169228?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA