Incident 331: Bug in Instagram’s “Related Hashtags” Algorithm Allegedly Caused Disproportionate Treatment of Political Hashtags

Description: A bug was reported by Instagram’s spokesperson to have prevented an algorithm from populating related hashtags for thousands of hashtags, resulting in an allege preferential treatment for some politically partisan hashtags.


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Alleged: Instagram developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Instagram users.

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Khoa Lam


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.