Twitter has been criticised this week for censoring tweets containing the hashtags #lesbian and #bisexual, blocking them from searches as “sensitive content”.
Users in some regions said that the #gay hashtag was still searchable, while others said it was also blocked for them.
Tweets using the hashtag #lesbian were similarly invisible from searches.
The problem seemed to have been caused by Twitter’s new search algorithm, which some have suggested was blocking LGBTI content in an attempt to censor pornography.
“Totally unacceptable that Twitter is censoring #bisexual posts. We are a community not a fetish. This is clear bi erasure and must stop,” posted one person.
“Twitter blocked #bisexual and #lesbian photos because in our society if you’re a girl and you’re gay you either don’t exist or you exist solely to be fetishised,” wrote another.
Twitter has now apologised for blocking the hashtags, according to SBS Sexuality.
“We’ve identified an error with search results for certain terms,” said the social media giant in a statement.
“We apologise for this. We’re working quickly to resolve and will update soon.”
Earlier this year, YouTube was criticised for censoring LGBTI content from its family-friendly ‘restricted mode’ feature.
— Thomas 🏳️🌈🌹 (@tampabaybucsfan) November 6, 2017
— The Bisexual Index (@bisexualindex) November 4, 2017
Huh. Okay, so the thing about images with the #bisexual tag disappearing is true. I don't want to leap to assume it's "censorship" but it's def not a good look for @Twitter. Overzealous porn filtering algorithm, prob? Anyway, fix it, @TwitterSupport.
— mostly honest john (@dovirstrgn) November 5, 2017
— Ya moms a hoe (@th0ttiejajaja) November 5, 2017
— Rob Davey (@robertdavey) November 4, 2017
— ryn (@erinkathryn23) November 6, 2017