#Sikh blocked since March – Instagram reveals

LONDON, UK—Instagram has confirmed that the #Sikh hashtag had been blocked by their team since 7 March “following a report that was inaccurately reviewed by our teams” they wrote in a Tweet.

In a couple of further tweets Instagram went on to say:

“We became aware that these hashtags were blocked today following feedback we received from the community, and quickly moved to unblock them. Our processes fell down here, and we’re sorry.

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 also confirmed that the #Sikh hashtag had been unblocked on Facebook but did not confirm any details of what the complaint was and who in the team authorised this.

However many did not take kindly to the limited apology and sketchy details, with tweeters demanding further details into what the complaint was, who authorised the blocking and the details of what the ‘inaccuracy’ Instagram referred to was.

We put these questions to Instagram and they told Sikh24 that Facebook and Instagram have tripled their staff who look after the safety and security of the social media outlets, to 35,000 people, 15,000 of whom are content reviewers.

The team covers every time zone and over 50 languages, and is based over 20 countries that include Germany, Ireland, Latvia, the Philippines, Spain, and the United States.

On the subject of diversity, Instagram told Sikh24 their staff come from a range of backgrounds, in order to reflect the diversity of the community, and bring with them a wide array of professional experiences.

Instagram went on to tell Sikh24 that they regularly audit the accuracy of their content decisions to help them understand where and why mistakes are being made. This includes refining their policies to catch harmful content that is slipping through the net or increasing training and support to reduce enforcement errors.

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