Instagram forced to shifts its algorithm to favor news content

Instagram

If you have been active on social media or aware of current affairs that you know about the injustice going on in Palestine. People have taken their concerns to social media to voice their support for Palestine. However, this issue has polarized people all over the world and social media in some cases is not helping since tech companies have been flagging content and accounts that raise their concern about the injustices in Palestine. Numerous Instagram users have lost their accounts for showing support.

Further Details

After internal and external concerns that users were not seeing pro-Palestinian information shared on the platform, Instagram is said to have tweaked its algorithm in favor of news and viral material.

Instagram has modified the way it prioritizes which Instagram Stories appear first in users’ feeds, according to two people familiar with the change. Previously, the firm emphasized stories with original content over stories with content shared or republished by other users. Both original and shared articles will now be ranked equally on the app. Multiple Sources told Financial Times.

“Stories that re-share feed posts aren’t achieving the reach users want them to,” an Instagram spokeswoman told Business Insider. “Over time, we’ll give re-shared posts the same weight as original-produced stories.”

The existing algorithm, according to the business spokesman, “led individuals to feel we were suppressing content about particular topics or points of view,” which was inaccurate.

[penci_related_posts dis_pview=”no” dis_pdate=”no” title=”Related Posts” background=”” border=”” thumbright=”no” number=”4″ style=”list” align=”none” withids=”” displayby=”recent_posts” orderby=”rand”]

“Any post that’s re-shared in stories, regardless of what it’s about,” a representative told Insider.

Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed earlier this month to a cease-fire in a recent conflict, putting a halt to the region’s worst combat since 2014. According to Reuters, at least 232 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began on May 10, including 65 children and 39 women. Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes. In Israel, at least 12 persons were killed, which included two children and a soldier.

During the controversy, BuzzFeed News reported that a group of approximately 30 employees at Facebook, which owns Instagram, spoke out internally and filed internal appeals to get pro-Palestinian information removed by the company that they felt was done unfairly.

According to the Financial Times, the group of worried employees has swelled to as many as 50 people. In May, Instagram came under fire after it incorrectly branded al-Aqsa, a holy Islamic mosque, as being linked with a terrorist organization and erased posts and prohibited hashtags regarding it, according to BuzzFeed News.

According to NBC News, Apple also turned down Facebook’s request to erase bad evaluations published on the App Store after pro-Palestinian activists attacked the firm with 1-star ratings in response to their claims of censorship.

A Facebook representative earlier told BuzzFeed News, “We know there have been multiple difficulties that have hampered people’s ability to share on our applications.”

“While we’ve addressed them, they shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and we apologize to anyone who felt unable to call attention to important events or who believed their voice was being silenced on purpose. This was never our objective, and we’ve never wanted to stifle a particular group or viewpoint “he stated.

Summing Up

Let’s hope this is truly an honest effort on Instagram’s part to favor news content and not showcase bias behavior. In other news, the Facebook-owned social media app has improved its Reel feature by adding analytics.  The app has also increased efforts to make video cleaning more easily so users could have a more sorted feed instead of a cluttered mess.

Note: This article is contributed by a guest author.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com