Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by TM
Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has announced a significant change in its content recommendation strategy on Instagram and Threads. According to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, Meta will no longer actively recommend political content to users on these platforms. This decision is part of Meta’s ongoing efforts to shape a more positive user experience and reduce the amplification of potentially sensitive topics.
Starting in the coming weeks, Meta will roll out this change across public accounts in locations where the recommendation algorithms typically suggest content, such as Instagram’s Reels and Explore, and suggested users on Threads. While users will still see political content from accounts they follow, the platforms will no longer proactively amplify such posts.
Adam Mosseri did not delve into the specifics of how Meta will define “political content,” but a Meta spokesperson clarified that it would encompass election-related topics and social issues. The spokesperson stated, “Our definition of political content is content likely to be about topics related to government or elections; for example, posts about laws, elections, or social topics.” This definition is expected to evolve as Meta engages with platform users, communities, and external experts to refine its approach.
Despite default limitations on the suggestions of political content, users who wish to see such content can opt-in through the settings on Instagram and Threads. This approach aims to strike a balance, allowing users to interact with political content based on their preferences while mitigating the potential negative impact of algorithmic amplification.
Meta’s decision to limit suggestions related to political topics is part of a broader strategy to discourage potentially problematic discussions on Threads. The company has implemented measures like blocking “potentially sensitive” topics, including terms related to vaccines and COVID, from search results in Threads. Adam Mosseri has previously emphasized Meta’s reluctance to “encourage” users to post about “politics and hard news” in the app.
However, this move may invite scrutiny from users and content creators who perceive Meta’s content moderation as unfair. Meta addresses concerns by allowing users with “professional” accounts on Instagram to use the “account status” feature, enabling them to check if their posts align with the criteria for recommendations.
As Meta continues to refine its content policies, the company seeks to foster a platform where users can choose their level of engagement with political content while prioritizing a positive and tailored user experience.