The history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is an old and bloody part of the past. Since the 1920’s, communal violence between the Israelis and the Arabs has been widespread and frequent. Recently, all the news regarding the conflict surfaced at the top of all the news sources because of the protests which were going on in East Jerusalem. The Palestinians were protesting against an anticipated order by the Supreme Court of Israel which was going to evict six Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah.
The news travelled at such a pace that this issue became the focus of all social media platforms worldwide. Before we move on to the technical part of the matter at hand we need to understand the dynamic present between Tech Giants – such as Google, Instagram, Twitter – and the governments of several if not all countries. These two power behemoths have reached a very interesting status quo in today’s world. They cannot afford to cross each other, almost on any or all issues. There is such a strong flow of capital, credit and knowledge that disrupting it is highly unadvised and tends to being an impossible task.
Instagram is a very well-known social media application. So it was very obvious that many famous personalities and internet influencers would bring the topic of the Palestine protests up; what isn’t obvious is that why were they not able to do it as soon as it should’ve been done. The posts and stories which were uploaded were highly suppressed and disregarded by Instagram’s algorithms. The social media giant received severe retaliation from its users for this. Instagram’s reply was that the difficulty to post pro-Palestine content or rather any content was due to a worldwide technical glitch and the content related to the protests which was posted was not given importance or wasn’t able to increase its reach was because it was mainly “re-shared” or “re-posted”; Instagram’s algorithm simply prefers “original” content.
These might be white lies or might be the actual reason for the suppression of pro-Palestine content but this is not the only time that this has taken place. The MNC’s of the world have to keep several countries happy and for that they have oppressed the content which favored the marginalized groups in any conflict.
The suits behind the company have said that they are considering changing the applications algorithms so that both the original as well as the shared content gets equal importance regarding its delivery to the users.