Bella Hadid will not be silenced.
In a statement today, the model claimed that Instagram is censoring or “shadow banning” her stories when she posts about the Palestine conflict.
“My Instagram has disabled me from posting on my story – pretty much only when it is Palestine based I’m going to assume,” the supermodel wrote. “When I post about Palestine I get immediately shadow banned and almost 1 million less of you see my stories and posts.”
Being shadow banned means that your exposure on a given social media platform has been restricted, and only you and your direct followers can see your posts.
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Two years ago, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said during a Q&A, “Shadow banning is not a thing. If someone follows you on Instagram, your photos and videos can show up in their feed if they keep using their feed.” He said that showing up on Instagram’s Explore page “is not guaranteed for anyone,” and added, “Sometimes you’ll get lucky, sometimes you won’t.”
The company has not returned BAZAAR‘s request for comment regarding Bella’s allegation.
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Bella and fellow model sister Gigi Hadid, who are of Palestinian-Dutch heritage (their father was born into a Palestinian Muslim family), regularly share information about the ongoing war between Israel and Palestine. During fashion month, they received both praise and criticism after announcing that they would be donating all their earnings from fashion shows to Ukrainians in need (amid Russia’s attacks) and to the people of Palestine.
Some quickly accused the sisters of being anti-Semitic for standing up for Palestine, but Gigi immediately denied that assumption in a statement, noting that anti-Palestinianism exists too. “A refugee crisis is a refugee crisis,” Gigi wrote on her Instagram Story at the time. “This is not anti-anything except anti-human suffering and anti-war. If you believe any person or child, anywhere, born or growing up in the many places where there is a refugee crisis, doesn’t deserve this assistance, you are focused on the wrong part. These children don’t choose a side in politics – they are born and raised in this and deserve, at the bare minimum, a decent life.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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