Instagram disallowed posts using a hashtag commemorating Iranian airstrikes on Ukrainian planes.
According to the 176 victims’ relatives, #IWillLightACandletoo was hidden from users. The posts may have triggered the restriction, a cybersecurity expert said.
Facebook said the hashtag was “inadvertently” On January 8, 2020, two missiles hit Ukraine International Airlines PS752. Air defence units mistaken the Boeing 737-800 for US missiles.
167 passengers and 9 crew killed. Ukraine labelled the Iranian investigation’s findings “cynical.”
The Association of Victims’ Families learned the hashtag #IWillLightACandletoo had been banned just days before the second anniversary.
Large firms like Facebook [formerly called Meta and owns Instagram] are easily misled by authoritarian regimes’ cyber armies, according to the association’s spokesperson Hamed Esmaeilion.
The auto-response claimed a user had reported content that violated Instagram’s Community Guidelines. Arab cyber specialist Amir Rashidi believes the hashtag was pre-planned.
“Iran users may have reported the hashtag, and machines unaware of local politics banned it. Authoritarian governments might exploit social media “digital rights and security at Miaan Group, Rashidi.
After contacting Instagram/Meta for about 24 hours, the prohibition was lifted. Meta told the BBC: “We quickly addressed the hashtag limitation error. We apologise for any inconvenience.”
Previous Instagram hashtag and post limits According to many Iranian users, Instagram recently erased videos revealing police brutality.
According to Mr Rashidi, “social media platforms like Meta must work with trusted internet freedom organisations and people who understand each country’s political and cultural backdrop.” “These are not mechanical judgments.”