In Instagram hashtag searches for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, he was promoted content in favor of Donald Trump.
The last two months, at least, a key feature of Instagram, which algorithmically promotes "relevant" content, tackles hashtags related to President Donald Trump and Republican presidential candidate Joe Biden in very different ways.
Searches for Biden return a variety of content in favor of Trump, while searches for issues related to the president returned only relevant hashtags, such as #MAGA the #Trump. This means that searches for hashtags related to Biden return "negative results", while for Trump they do not.
Earlier this week, an Instagram search for #JoeBiden would have almost appeared 390.000 posts under Biden's name along with related hashtags, while users searching Instagram for #JoeBiden may also see results for # joebiden2020, as well as Trump hashtags such as #trump2020landslide and #democratsdestroyamerica.
A similar search for #Donald Trump on the platform, however, provided a completely different experience. Aside from the display of 7 million posts with the president's name, Instagram did not introduce relevant hashtag tags that would push users to different content or promote alternative views.
The difference between these two results is due to one bug according to an Instagram spokesperson at BuzzFeed News, and prevented hashtags, including #Trump and #MAGA, from being associated with potentially negative content. Meanwhile, Democratic-related Instagram hashtags, such as #JoeBiden and #Biden, came out with content that was clearly in favor of Trump and against of Biden.
The difference in the way presidential candidates are treated by platform raises more questions about how prepared Instagram is, and its parent company Facebook, for the presidential elections of USA coming in November.
The Instagram bug, which was first noticed by Tech Transparency Project, a group of independent technical observers, suggests that hashtags related to the two main presidential candidates have been treated differently since June, at least. In most cases, algorithmically related hashtags appear to people who search for or click on a hashtag, displaying more content that Instagram thinks they will be interested in.
«What we have seen with the relevant hashtags about Biden is that there is so much sarcasm that seems to benefit President Trump,"She said Katie Paul, Director of the Tech Transparency Project. The fact that the relevant hashtags did not appear for many phrases related to Trump "dismisses any possibility that negative hashtags could be associated with his campaign name or slogans. "
The Instagram representative, Raki Wane, described the problem as a bug. Noted that thousands of hashtags, including #artofdrinks and #menshair were also prevented from being displayed with relevant hashtags. He did not explain why the issue affected Trump hashtags and not those related to Biden, nor how long it has been going on.
"A technical error caused some hashtags not showing relevant results," said Wane on Tuesday afternoon. "It simply came to our notice then mode and we are investigating. "
Her representative campaign Biden declined to comment.
«It is absurd that Silicon Valley, the stronghold of diversity and liberalism, is terrorized by intellectual diversity and conservative voices., "He said Ken Farnaso, Trump Spokesman.