Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, June 4
After nearly three months, Facebook and Instagram unblocked #Sikh (hashtag Sikh) on Thursday.
On March 7, Facebook admitted that the hashtag was mistakenly blocked.
The Sikh community approached Facebook with a request to unblock it.
An official statement released by Instagram Communication on their Twitter handle (@Instagramcomms) said: “We have unblocked the hashtag #sikh on Instagram and are working to unblock #sikh on Facebook. We’re investigating why this happened. We will follow up here later today with more information.”
It further said that #sikh is now unblocked on Facebook too.
“Thanks for your patience today. We investigated this issue and found that these hashtags were mistakenly blocked on March 7th following a report that was inaccurately reviewed by our teams,” read the third tweet.
The company said that 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.”
The issue surfaced on social media platforms on Wednesday after the users—including Sikh organsiation —started posting on Facebook about blocking of hashtag #Sikh.
Several users learned about the blocked hashtag when they tried to post about Operation Blue Star on the Golden Temple in Amritsar in the year 1984.
They questioned the company and then Facebook and Instagram carried out its investigation into the matter.
Canada-based author Rupi Kaur also raised the issue tweeted: “The hypocrisy of @facebook’s approach to free speech: 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. @instagramcomms do better.
the hypocrisy of @facebook's approach to free speech:— rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) June 3, 2020
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.@instagramcomms do better. https://t.co/wk53NvKbIz pic.twitter.com/vMEw7f02Gv
To Kaur tweet, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram replied: “Not sure how the #sikh hashtag ended up blocked. It’s now unblocked on Instagram, we are working to unblock it on Facebook, and we’re investigating why this happened. #Sikh is now unblocked on Facebook.”
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
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