Instagram and Threads Expand Restrictions on Political Content

Instagram and its sister platform Threads are implementing new measures to limit the visibility of political content on their platforms. In a recent blog post, parent company Meta announced that it is expanding its existing policy that restricts political content from appearing in recommended feeds. The aim is to allow users to choose whether or not they interact with political content, while respecting their individual preferences. This update will be rolled out gradually over the coming weeks.

Under the new policy, political content will no longer appear in recommended feeds on Instagram and Threads unless users have explicitly chosen to view it. This change will affect public accounts and will apply to various sections of the platforms, including Explore, Reels, in-feed recommendations, and suggested users. However, the visibility of political content from accounts that users follow will remain unaffected. These accounts can continue to post political content to their followers through their feeds and Stories.

To provide users with control over their content viewing experience, Instagram and Threads will introduce customizable account settings. This allows users to enable or disable the restriction on political content recommendations according to their preferences. Users will have the ability to toggle the limitation on and off based on their desire to engage or disengage with political topics.

The new policy also has implications for content creators on Instagram and Threads. If an account is ineligible to be recommended, none of its content will be recommended regardless of whether it conforms to the platforms’ guidelines. To check if posting political content impacts their eligibility for recommendation, professional accounts can use the Account Status feature. This feature will inform creators whether their content falls within the limitations and provide an opportunity to contest eligibility decisions. Furthermore, professional accounts can edit, remove, or pause politically related posts until their accounts regain eligibility for recommendations.

These updates are part of Meta’s ongoing efforts to distance itself from news and politics. In recent years, Meta has made significant strides to reduce the prominence of political content on its platforms. According to Facebook’s findings, less than 3 percent of the content seen by its US users in their feeds is politically related. Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, has previously stated that political content is not encouraged on Threads or Instagram due to its limited engagement value and the potential for negative scrutiny. This concern is particularly relevant as the platforms prepare for the 2024 presidential election.

Instagram and Threads are taking steps to provide users with more control over their exposure to political content. By expanding restrictions on political content in recommended feeds, Meta aims to respect individual preferences and allow users to choose whether or not they engage with political topics. The introduction of customizable account settings and the Account Status feature give users and content creators the ability to manage their preferences and contest eligibility decisions. As Meta distances itself from news and politics, it remains committed to minimizing the impact of political content while preserving user choice and the integrity of its platforms.

Tech

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