Instagram restricted hashtags related to civilian deaths in northern Ukraine

Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook, briefly blocked hashtags about civilian deaths in northern Ukraine, where bodies of people shot at close range were found in a town seized back from Russian forces, a company spokesman said on Monday. The killings in Bucha, which is outside of Kyiv, have led to more sanctions from the West.

Andy Stone, a spokesman for Meta, said that automated systems that look for violent images on Facebook and Instagram, which Meta also owns, blocked hashtags like #bucha and #buchamassacre from being used.

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“This happened automatically because people used these hashtags to post pictures of things. During the day yesterday, we quickly unblocked the hashtags that were blocking people from seeing them “A tweet from him:

Facebook and Instagram let people post graphic and violent content if they share it to raise awareness of possible human rights abuses. If the content is very explicit or celebrates suffering, Facebook and Instagram will remove it.

Human rights groups have said Meta’s policy of deleting violent content from its servers after 90 days is bad because it removes important evidence of war crimes. During the war in Ukraine, Stone said Meta was looking into ways to keep this type of content and other types of content safe when they were removed. Russia has denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians.

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