New Delhi: Facebook and Instagram users who tried to use the #Sikh (hashtag Sikh) were unable to do so for the past three months, the two social media platforms admitted on Wednesday night.
Over the last week, members of the global Sikh community started raising concern over the blocking of the hashtag Sikh, an issue that gained more attention due to the anniversary of Operation Blue Star.
Will you join us in asking them to remove this ban? pic.twitter.com/arnSIg683G
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) June 3, 2020
Prominent members of the community, including Canadian author Rupi Kaur, questioned the social media giant over the apparent blocking of the hashtag.
“Zuckerberg says FB’s principles prohibit him from blocking Trump as he incites violence & hate. Meanwhile as Sikhs raise their voice to mark the injustices of 1984: sikh hashtags are blocked,” Kaur tweeted.
On Wednesday night, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, responded and noted that it had carried out an investigation and found that the hashtag had been “mistakenly blocked” on March 7 following a report that was inaccurately reviewed by its teams.
“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,” the digital platform said in an official statement.
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
Instagram added that it understands 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.”