Users Shocked To Find Instagram Limits Political Content By Default

Instagram users have started complaining on X (formerly Twitter) after discovering that Meta has begun limiting recommended political content by default, ArsTechnica reported.

Instagram apparently did not notify users directly on the platform when this change happened.

Instead, Instagram rolled out the change in February, announcing in a blog that the platform doesn’t “want to proactively recommend political content from accounts you don’t follow.” That post confirmed on Meta “won’t proactively recommend content about politics on recommendations surfaces across Instagram and Threads,” so that those platforms can remain “a great experience for everyone.”

“This change does not impact posts from accounts people choose to follow; it impacts what the system recommends, and people can control if they want more,” Meta’s spokesperson Dani Lever told ArsTechnica. “We have been working for years to show people less political content based on what they told us they want, and what posts they told us are political.”

To change the setting, users can navigate to Instagram’s menu for “settings and activity” in their profiles, where they can update their “content preferences.” On this menu, “political content” is the last item under a list of “suggested content” controls that allow users to set preferences for what content is recommended in their feeds.

CNET reported reported: If you’ve noticed less political content on Instagram, it’s not just you.

Back in February, Meta announced that it would not longer “proactively recommend political content from accounts you don’t follow.” That means you should still see political content from anyone you follow. And you’ll be limited in what political content you see from other accounts, whether that’s on the explore page, in your feed recommendations or on reels.

Seeing less political content from people you don’t follow isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It could even be a good thing, if you tend to see a good amount of content that goes against your political leanings, CNET wrote.

Mashable reported it looks like Meta is distancing itself — and users — from political content even more.

According to Mashable, it’s easy to see why. Social media sites have been rife with misinformation and disinformation during past elections. It seems Meta’s response to these egregious mistakes is to make political content rarer on its platforms. Users have noticed that Instagram and Threads are quite literally putting limits on political content. On many user’s accounts, the settings were automatically set to “limit” users from seeing “political content”.

As Instagram describes, this decision affects all of the suggested posts in Explore, Reels, Feed Recommendations, and Suggested Users. “It does not affect the content from accounts you follow,” Instagram says.

“This announcement expands on years of work on how we approach and treat political content based on what people have told use they wanted,” Dani Lever, a Meta spokesperson, told Mashable. “And now, people are going to be able to control whether they would like to have these types of posts recommended to them.”

In my opinion, I really don’t want to see political posts on Instagram. That said, if you really want to see more political posts, there’s a way to make that happen if you go into Instagram’s settings.