Instagram and Twitter have blamed technical errors for deleting posts mentioning the possible eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, but data rights groups fear “discriminatory” algorithms are at work and want greater transparency.
It came as a long-running legal case over evictions from homes in Sheikh Jarrah has fuelled tensions in Jerusalem where hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli police on Monday.
By Monday, 7amleh, a nonprofit focused on social media, had received more than 200 complaints about deleted posts and suspended accounts related to Sheikh Jarrah.
“On Instagram, it was mostly content takedown, even archives from older stories were deleted. On Twitter, most cases were an account suspension,” said Mona Shtaya, an advocacy advisor at 7amleh.
Instagram and Twitter said the accounts were “suspended in error by our automated systems” and the issue had been resolved and content reinstated.
Instagram said in a statement that an automated update last week caused content re-shared by multiple users to appear as missing, affecting posts on Sheikh Jarrah, Colombia, and U.S. and Canadian indigenous communities.