It’s unclear exactly how the block came about, or why it took so long for the company to realize the error. In a statement, Facebook said the block happened on March 7, “following a report that was inaccurately reviewed by our teams.”
“We investigated this issue and found that these hashtags were mistakenly blocked on March 7th following a report that was inaccurately reviewed by our teams,” the company wrote. “We became aware that these hashtags were blocked today following feedback we received from the community, and quickly moved to unblock them. Our processes fell down here, and we’re sorry.
“We designed hashtags to allow people to come together and share with one another. It's never our intention to silence the voices of this community, we are taking the necessary steps so this doesn’t happen again.”
The incident is the second time this week Instagram has acknowledged incorrectly preventing use around a specific hashtag. Earlier in the week, Instagram’s spam detection system caused some users to be unable to post or interact with the #blacklivesmatter hashtag. The company now says it was able to address the issue, and “reduce” the number of users who saw the “action blocked” message when they tried to use the hashtag.