Home Technology How to turn off Instagram’s political content filter

How to turn off Instagram’s political content filter

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It’s election season in the U.S., and Instagram has changed the way that it recommends political content. On both Instagram and the newer X competitor Threads, this change won’t impact what you see from accounts you already follow. But the platforms won’t proactively recommend content about politics, which could limit users’ ability to learn about political issues from people outside of their existing circles. This is especially impactful as Instagram’s algorithm shifts toward recommending more posts from accounts you don’t follow, especially Reels.

While some people might welcome a breather from politics, others find the changes alarming, since social media is a key tool for community organizing and disseminating information about current events. Plus, Instagram’s definition of political content is a bit broad — it describes political content as anything “potentially related to things like laws, elections, or social topics.”

If these changes bother you, you can adjust your settings to override Instagram’s political content filters.

Changing Instagram’s political content settings

If you don’t want Instagram to filter out political content from your feed, here are steps to opt out of these changes.

  • On the Instagram app, use the bottom navigation bar to click on your profile.
  • Once you’re on your profile page, you’ll see a hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner of your screen.
  • Now, you should be on the “Settings and activity” page. If you scroll down toward the middle of the menu, you’ll see a subheading called “What you see.” Three lines down, there’s an option you can tap called “Content preferences.”
  • From there, there is a tab that says “Political content.” Click that, and you’ll be able to toggle between options of seeing political content from people you don’t follow, or not seeing that content anymore. If you don’t want political content to be filtered from your feed, select “don’t limit political content from people you don’t follow.”

Threads doesn’t currently have its own settings menu with these toggles — but if you change your preferences on Instagram, it should carry over to Threads, which is integrated within the app.

Image Credits: Instagram

Why Instagram is changing how you view political content

Meta, parent to platforms like Instagram and Facebook, has consistently gotten into trouble when it comes to politics. These platforms have played a role in genocide in Myanmar and the spread of disinformation preceding the January 6 attack on the Capitol. And then there was the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw a political consulting group hijack the data of millions of Facebook users to aid Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. At Meta HQ, another U.S. presidential election might just mean that another public mishap is inevitable.

But these massive algorithmic shifts have consequences — whether Meta likes it or not, this is the reality of social media platforms used by billions of people. Limiting political content is going to have a ripple effect.

We don’t know yet what kinds of content Instagram will bar, and how that will affect creators, whose livelihood is impacted by their ability to find new audiences. But at least Instagram will let creators check their account status, so they know if their account has been limited in reach.





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