February 28, 2024


Meta is giving users on its Instagram and Threads platforms control over seeing political content.

Meta said in a blog post it doesn’t “want to get between” users and the political content they choose to follow, but it also wants to avoid proactively recommending political posts—such as posts related to “laws, elections, or social topics”—from accounts users don’t follow. If users still want to see that content, they can opt in, via a control.

Otherwise, political content on Explore, Reels, In-Feed Recommendations, and Suggested Users will not be recommended by Instagram and Threads.

And of course, users will still be able to see political posts from accounts they choose to follow.

Meta said the change for political posts will come out “slowly over time,” and the control feature will be available on Facebook in the future. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Quartz on the decision to stop proactively recommending political posts to users.

The company has already worked on limiting recommendations for certain content across its platforms, including posts that impede its “ability to foster a safe community,” such as violent or sexually explicit posts.

In October, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said Threads would not amplify news on its platform, as users searched for news about conflicts abroad and the upcoming election.

“We’re not anti-news,” Mosseri said in a response to a Threads user. “But, we’re also not going to amplify news on the platform. To do so would be too risky given the maturity of the platform, the downsides of over-promising, and the stakes.”

That same month, Threads said it was temporarily blocking terms such as “Covid,” “vaccines,” and “long Covid,” after a Washington Post article found the searches were being blocked. Threads said results for the terms would come back “once we are confident in the quality of the results.”

Mosseri said on Threads that the app’s “biggest safety focus” at the time was “managing content responsibly given the war in Israel in Gaza.”





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