Trump hasn’t had much luck in the social media department. It now looks like he may have found his new best friend.
The spotted Instagram hashtag bug is a “technical error” according to its descriptions. The bug gives Donald Trump certain platform leverage over his opponent, Joe Biden.
The feature ran for about two whole months on the platform. The algorithm that pushes users straight towards other particular related content when searching a certain hashtag behaves differently with the two candidates.
Searches for the Republican president show pro-Trump messages somehow filtering out other negatively implementing hashtags. On the other hand, searches for the Democratic presidential nominee give a mixed response.
The Instagram Hashtag Bug’s Search Differentiation
Earlier the present week, a simple search on the social media platform found an Instagram hashtag bug. When you type in #JoeBiden and only 390,000 posts tagging the United States former vice president.
If you search for Trump, on the other hand, 7 million posts that include his name will bombard you. None of the presented related hashtags, however, gave the users alternative viewpoints regarding the president.
One thing also very noticeable is how the bug prevented certain hashtags that include #Trump and also #MAGA from simple association from content with a potentially negative viewpoint.
One disturbing discovery is that typing in #JoeBiden or #Biden would still present the searcher with particular pro-trump content while also attacking this former vice president in the process.
The current difference in just how the two presidential candidates receive treatment by Instagram. The Instagram hashtag bug raises even more questions about how the platform.
The skepticism includes its known parent company Facebook allegedly pivoting the next US presidential election that will happen in November.
The Platform’s Acknowledgement
After Facebook publicly acknowledged that they have not invested enough work to prevent possible election interference for this 2016 presidential race, the company then invested in heavy security.
The investment includes certain get-out-the-vote initiatives for this 2020. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, described the election saying it will turn out “unlike any other.”
The Instagram hashtag bug first caught the eye of Tech Transparency Project, a particular nonpartisan tech watchdog group suggesting the hashtags associated with these main candidates are treated differently.
The findings also said that the alleged favoritism started back in June.
In common cases, hashtags work by stitching together unbiased content, whether positive or negative. There is generally no innate bias between related content whether positive or negative.
Instagram’s very own spokesperson Raki Wane addressed the issue and called it a “bug” on Tuesday. She also pointed out that there are other hashtags including the #artofdrinks and the #menshare do not overflow or overpopulate with related hashtags.
She did not directly explain why this issue delved into the two candidates or how long have they persisted the problem.
The social media platform is now disabling the feature while the investigation of the Instagram hashtag bug is ongoing.
Further investigation is ongoing to find the root of the problem. Could this be political bias? Or maybe just an honest glitch?