Facebook, Instagram censor posts about Nigeria’s anti-police brutality protests
Facebook wrongly tagged posts about anti-police brutality demonstrations in Nigeria as fake news — suppressing the content, according to a report Thursday.
The social media giant, and its company Instagram, admitted to filtering out hashtags linked to the protests,
which intensified after they shot several demonstrators dead by members of the Nigerian military Tuesday, according to Vice.
People who tried to share photos and messages with the #EndSARS hashtag —
short for Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad —
were incorrectly sent an alert saying there is “false information in your post,” the outlet reported.
A Facebook rep told VICE News that the #EndSARS hashtag was
flagged incorrectly, and the firm was working to fix the problem.
“We are aware of an issue where some posts in support of #EndSARS
are being incorrectly flagged as false in our systems.
We are working quickly to resolve this,” the rep said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what led the hashtag to be labeled as fake.
Protests in the country began raging two weeks ago after a video circulated showing a man being badly beaten by an officer in the squad.