Instagram’s political content filter won’t turn off

After Democratic strategist Keith Edwards urged Threads users to check the Instagram setting limiting political content from people they don’t follow, many people noticed theirs had abruptly changed. Journalist Taylor Lorenz confirmed that her settings had changed as well and noted that they appeared to reset every time she force-closed the Instagram app, which we’ve also confirmed on our phones.

Meta says the behavior was unintentional. “This was an error and should not have happened,” Meta communications director Andy Stone posted on Threads. “We’re working on getting it fixed.”

Meta introduced the opt-out setting that limits recommendations of “political content” to Instagram and Threads in March. At the time, the company said it wasn’t limiting political content from reaching people on Instagram but instead simply giving users the ability to stop seeing posts that don’t interest them.

“Our goal is to preserve the ability for people to choose to interact with political content, while respecting each person’s appetite for it,“ Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a Threads post announcing the change. When Threads first rolled out, Mosseri told The Verge’s Alex Heath that the app would “not do anything to encourage” politics or “hard news.”

The opt-out setting, however, was on by default, and Instagram never sent users in-app notifications alerting them of the change.

A support page for Instagram describes how the setting, found only in the apps for Instagram, is supposed to work. Under a user’s profile menu for content preferences, there’s an option for political content, where they can turn the limit off and confirm that choice. Changing the setting and closing the app caused it to reset for everyone here who tried it, and we’ll update this article if that changes.

Source link