In a bid to curb the proliferation of heated political debates and ensuing toxicity on its platforms, Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has announced significant changes to how political content will be recommended on Instagram and its new app, Threads.
Meta disclosed that it will no longer actively push political content to users by default across both Instagram and Threads. This move aligns with the company’s existing policies on Facebook, where political content in various recommendation features has been reduced.
|Political content recommendation will be minimized.
|Users will experience a decrease in political content suggestions.
|Both Instagram and Threads will see a reduction in actively recommended political posts.
While the changes will limit the recommendation of political content, Meta emphasizes that users who wish to engage with political posts can opt-in through their Settings on both Instagram and Threads. Additionally, Facebook will introduce a similar control in the future.
Professional accounts on Instagram will have the ability to manage their eligibility for recommendation through an Account Status feature. This feature enables account owners to check their current status, edit or remove posts, request a review, or choose to abstain from posting political content to regain eligibility for recommendation.
It’s important to note that Meta’s policy adjustments do not entirely remove political content from users’ feeds. Accounts that users follow will still be able to post political content, which will be visible to their followers. However, such content will not be proactively recommended to non-followers, reducing its potential virality.
Meta’s decision to minimize the recommendation of political content comes amidst growing scrutiny and calls for regulation of Big Tech companies. The move indicates the company’s acknowledgment of its platforms’ role in facilitating political unrest and its commitment to addressing these concerns.
The rollout of these changes will be gradual, with Meta stating that it will be implemented “slowly over time to get this right,” without specifying a definitive timeline for full availability to all users.
Meta’s decision to reduce the recommendation of political content on Instagram and Threads reflects a broader strategy to prioritize user experience and mitigate the potential negative impacts associated with political discussions on social media platforms. By introducing user controls and transparency measures, Meta aims to create a safer and more responsible social media environment, potentially appeasing regulators while also addressing public concerns about the spread of harmful content online.