Instagram apologizes for misleading details after its code wrongly flagged messages in favor of # EndSARS, the anti-police violence protest in Nigeria. A new police unit, the New Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, has been accused of corruption and violence against protestors in the region.
"In support of # EndSARS, our systems flagged content inappropriately yesterday and labelled messages as fake. We are profoundly sorry for this. The problem has now been fixed, and we apologise for letting our group down in such a time of need," the organization said in a tweet Thursday.
After Amnesty International said Nigeria's armed forces opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators, killing 12, the campaign and its subsequent demonstrations made headlines this week. In 1992, SARS was created by the Nigerian government to serve as a deterrent to the high crime rate in the region. The squad operated in an anonymous manner in an attempt to protect its officers and conduct their investigations without interference.
However, in the subsequent years, the youth of Nigeria have accused the squad of corruption and brutality, claiming they have harassed and tortured citizens who resist. Amnesty International reported at least 82 cases of abuse and killings by SARS officials in the past three years.
On social media, in both Nigeria and across the world, supporters of the protesters used #EndSARS to express support for the movement. However, some noticed their Instagram and Facebook posts were flagged by the company's fact-checking banners.