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Instagram limiting political content

Instagram has changed its rules regarding the presence of political content. The default setting is now limiting posts, reels and accounts that are deemed to be political in nature for users, according to the company.

The new limits on political content come just months before the 2024 presidential election, and some users are criticizing Instagram for the move. However, the social media company is far from the first platform to try and deviate from political content.

Instagram users will still see political posts from accounts they choose to follow, and users have the option to opt out of the limitations on political content. However, they will have to go through a series of settings changes to turn political content back on.

Posts or reels believed to be political in nature applies to anything that discusses elections, campaigns, laws, or social issues like immigration or abortion, according to Instagram’s Help Center page.

Instagram said that the reason behind the decision to limit political posts is to create a “great experience for everyone.” However, while users will still see posts from any accounts they follow, the platform won’t be recommending political content from any accounts that the individual is not using.

Instagram will also refrain from showing users random reels or recommended posts as well. The same control on political content will also roll out on Facebook at later date, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Facebook has a history of trying other means to keep politics out of news feeds. The company has faced criticism over the years for promoting and demoting certain political views and content on its platform. A Facebook spokesperson told the Journal that users want to see less politics overall.

According to the spokesperson, Facebook “tested various approaches” and “ultimately implemented changes that reduces politics.”

Political Facebook posts reportedly account for “less than 3% of total content views in users’ newsfeeds.”

According to Reuters, TikTok also has stipulations when it comes to posting political videos. Users are not allowed to fundraise for a politician or political cause. They are also not allowed to promote videos that are political in nature and touch on sensitive social issues, like immigration and abortion, according to the company.

According to CBS News, any sort of “content controls” social media companies wish to implement on its users are completely up to them. However, a U.S. Supreme Court case set to be decided on later this year could change that, if the majority of justices rule that such controls actually violate a user’s First Amendment rights.

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