More than 11,000 Twitter users got #Sikh hashtag trending as social media platforms Instagram and Facebook, both owned by Mark Zukerberg seemed to have blocked the same.
Angry users of Facebook and Instagram took to social media to share their concerns.
This included prominent members of the Sikh community.
The Sikh Press Association also stepped in and raised the issue of the block including the #Neverforget1984 hashtag.
Poet and author Rupi Kaur shared her anger too, by tweeting about “the hypocrisy of Facebook’s approach to free speech.”
Kaur wrote, “Zuckerberg says FB’s principles prohibit him from blocking Trump as he incites violence and hate. Meanwhile, as Sikhs raise their voice to mark the injustices of 1984: Sikh hashtags are blocked.”
Kaur managed to get a reply from Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram and former head of News Feed. He Tweeted: “Not sure what’s going on here, but we’re looking into it and will circle back. Thanks for calling it out.” Soon after, the hashtag was restored on Instagram and a few hours later it seems the hashtag has also been restored on Facebook.
Author and activist Simran Jeet Singh who also joined the angry voices, and followed up with an updated Tweet reading: Update: The blocking of “#Sikh” by
has been resolved. Ridiculous that this was an issue in the first place, but grateful it’s now behind us. Thank you all for your quick action.
Instagram’s Twitter handle read: 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.
With a follow up Tweet saying: #sikh is now unblocked on Facebook.
Instagram Comms said in a statement:
“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.
“We became aware that these hashtags were blocked today following feedback we received from the community, and quickly moved to unblock them. Our processes fell down here, and we’re sorry.
“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.”