Instagram has apologized for wrongly labelling posts in support of Nigeria’s #EndSARS protests as false.
On Wednesday, Facebook and Instagram flagged posts about the protests and Tuesday night’s shootings of peaceful protesters in Lekki, Lagos, as false information.
Many Nigerians took to Twitter to express their displeasure at some of their posts, specifically those with a blood-stained Nigerian flag, and the hashtags #LekkiMassacre and #EndSARS.
Users said they received a message that read: “False: The same false information was reviewed in another post by fact-checkers. There may be small differences. Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.”
The platform said it was sorry for letting down the community.
“Yesterday our systems were incorrectly flagging content in support of #EndSARS, and marking posts as false. We are deeply sorry for this,” Instagram said in a statement. “The issue has now been resolved, and we apologize for letting our community down in such a time of need.”
On social media, in both Nigeria and across the world, supporters of the protesters used #EndSARS to express support for the movement. As nationwide protests grew, the hashtag became the number 1 trend on Twitter worldwide, garnering support from notable figures and international celebrities.
On Tuesday, soldiers opened fire on unarmed, peaceful protesters gathered at Lekki toll gate in Lagos. International condemnation followed, with footage and pictures of the attack, including a live feed from the scene, spreading on social media.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday addressed the country, but failed to mention the Lekki shootings and warned against further demonstrations.