Watch | Explainer: Meta And The Instagram 'Takedown' Controversy

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Watch | Explainer: Meta And The Instagram ‘Takedown’ Controversy

| Updated: October 17, 2022 19:11

On October 10, The Wire published an exclusive report detailing how Instagram recently took down a video of Uttar Pradesh resident Prabhakar Maurya worshipping a statue of state chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

The social media company’s justification for removing the post, provided to the owner of the anonymous satire page, ‘Superhumans of Cringetopia’, said it violated the platform’s ‘nudity and sexual content’ guidelines – strange, considering there was no nudity in the post.

Through a detailed investigation, communications with a source at Instagram’s parent company, Meta, and internal Instagram reports and evidence, The Wire learnt that video was taken down after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) IT Cell chief, Amit Malviya, reported the post. And apparently, when Malviya reports an Instagram post, the social media platform immediately takes it down – no questions asked.

The Wire‘s investigation also revealed that Malviya’s sweeping powers come from his being part of Meta’s shadowy ‘XCheck’ or ‘Cross Check’ programme, which grants a select few users on Meta’s platforms a litany of powers – including the power to take down any post they please.

But what really is XCheck? Who are these select few? And what do these sweeping powers mean for a platform that claims to put all its users on an equal footing?

Watch the video below to find out.

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