It’s Election Day. Have you checked Instagram this morning? Well, when you do you will find something very interesting. Log onto Instagram.com from a laptop and you will find the following message written near the bottom of the homepage, “Recent posts from all hashtags are temporarily hidden to help prevent the spread of possible false information and harmful content related to the election.”
Seriously? Did I read that right? Isn’t this the United States? What ever happened to the First Amendment?…”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Instagram is now acting like the creators of the Constitution? Seriously? In fairness, there are exceptions…types of speech not protected by the First Amendment, such as, “Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment (and therefore may be restricted) include obscenity, fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, speech that incites imminent lawless action, speech that violates intellectual property law, true threats, and commercial …”
So, I ask you, is Instagram now making this decision because they feel authorized to make the determination about someone’s hashtag post in terms of possibly spreading false information about today’s Presidential election? Seriously?
If you click on “learn more” from Instagram’s homepage, it takes you to this:
Why aren’t Top or Recent posts showing up for a particular Instagram hashtag page?
We may remove the Top or Recent posts in a hashtag page if people are using the hashtag to post content that goes against our Community Guidelines. Learn more about our Community Guidelines.
Just food for thought if and when you decide to post something election-related on your Instagram account today.