Social media giants Facebook and Instagram admit to blocking #Sikh for 3 months after an incorrect review by their teams.
The issue came to the fore when a large number of people started pointing this out, in the wake of the anniversary of Operation Blue Star.
#Sikh is being hidden on Instagram when you click on it. You can’t even search it. It’s no coincidence that this is happening in the month of June. On the 36th year anniversary of the Sikh Genocide. @instagram— 悟空 (@Gurinder94_) June 3, 2020
It’s absolutely crazy that @Facebook has banned the #Sikh hashtag !!!!— ravinder singh (@RaviSinghKA) June 3, 2020
Is mr #Zuckerberg now banning people who are #Sikh ?!??
This must be THE STUPIDEST ban ever !!! @fbnewsroom @facebookapp pic.twitter.com/M5gQc0PypF
So @instagram have flagged the hashtag #Sikh as suspicious...for us tweeting about 1984.— Kav (@THEPAGH) June 3, 2020
Thank you Instagram,
you're another step closer to silencing the mourning mothers,
who for that last 36 years have waited for their son/husband to walk through the door. #neverforget1984
Dear @instagram, Sikhs worldwide are shocked at hashtag #Sikh being blocked. Receiving the following message, “we restrict certain content and actions to protect our community” when we use hashtag #Sikh. For this awful & discriminatory experience, @InstagramComms must answer. pic.twitter.com/ZiL1qqP5Do— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) June 3, 2020
It was then that the platforms took notice, apologised and unblocked the hashtag. Instagram's PR team posted a tweet on the matter to clarify every thing.
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.— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) June 3, 2020
Further, it said that Instagram will make sure this never happens again.
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 Comms (@InstagramComms) June 3, 2020
Meanwhile people, especially those belonging to the community are furious how such a mistake happened in the first place.
was talking abt how happy and proud i was that #neverforget1984 was getting attention and trending, just to see #sikh had been censored on Instagram and Facebook. The censors been removed now but why was it even censored in the first place?? @instagram @Facebook— Navreet Dhaliwal (@navreetd_) June 3, 2020
Disgraceful it happened in the first place. You need to explain why and what steps you will take to ensure it never happens again. Educate yourself on #Sikhi Clearly it’s much needed. #Sikh https://t.co/IjGap9QISI— Pavitar Kaur Mann (@pavitarmann) June 3, 2020