Instagram disables related hashtags feature after bug that appeared to favor Trump

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Instagram has disabled its “related hashtags” feature after a bug restricted the feature for select phrases across the platform. Related hashtags did not appear on the tens of thousands of hashtag pages affected by the bug, potentially restricting available information to any user who tapped on one as it appeared in photo or video captions or sought it out via search.

The issue came to light after a Tech Transparency Project (TTP) report, further explored by BuzzFeed News, found that the bug affected Trump-related hashtags but not those related to Joe Biden. Because many of the related hashtags were derogatory — including #creepyjoebiden, #joebidenpedophile, and #neverbiden — the disparity raised concerns Instagram might be favoring…

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