Peace Over Polling: Instagram Ditches Political Drama

  • 11 Feb, 2024
Peace Over Polling: Instagram Ditches Political Drama

Mosseri Announces Change: Instagram to Limit Political Content Reach

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has proclaimed that Meta will stop promoting political content on Instagram and Threads. While users can still catch political posts from accounts they follow, the platforms will cease to "proactively amplify" similar material. This adaptation is anticipated to be enforced little by little "over the coming few weeks" and will affect public accounts within areas where Meta's algorithms recommend content or posts. This includes places like Instagram's Reels and Explore sections, and the suggested drugs feature on Stories.

Scope of the Update: Gradual Rollout Across Recommendation Features

Mosseri didn't give detailed criteria on what Meta will classify as "political." Still, a spokesperson for Meta clarified that this order would encompass content related to elections and social issues.


Here's what the spokesperson said:

"Our description of political content is happy likely to be about contents related to government or elections; for example, posts about laws, elections, or social topics. These global issues are complex and dynamic, which means this description will evolve as we continue to engage with the people and communities who use our platforms and external experts to upgrade our approach."


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Defining "Political": Focus on Government, Elections, and Social Issues

Meta plans to dock recommendations on topics it deems sensitive by default, but users interested in similar content will have the option to adjust their preferences through the settings on Instagram and Threads. This update is designed not to intrude with the visibility of posts from accounts that users have diligently chosen to follow.

User Choice: Opt-in for Political Recommendations

This move is part of Meta's broader strategy to minimize conversations on platforms about subjects it views as potentially contentious. The company has formerly been filtering out "potentially sensitive" content from Threads' search results, including terms related to vaccines and COVID-19.

 Mosseri has made it clear that Meta aims to steer clear of promoting conversations on "politics and hard news" within the app, indicating a deliberate effort to shape the platform's content landscape.


Mosseri's Vision: Avoiding "Politics and Hard News" on Instagram:

His vision entails Instagram evolving into a space focused on lighter, less contentious topics, with political content fading from prominence in recommendations and discovery features. While users can still follow and engage with political accounts, Meta aims to de-emphasize this arena, prioritizing entertainment, lifestyle, and other non-divisive themes. This approach reflects Meta's broader strategy to cultivate a more positive and unified user experience online.