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How to disable Instagram’s political content filter | TechCrunch


It’s election season in the United States and Instagram has changed the way it recommends political content. On Instagram and X’s new competing Threads, this change will not impact what you see on accounts you already follow. But platforms won’t proactively recommend content about politics, which could limit users’ ability to learn about political issues from people outside their existing circles. This has an especially big impact as Instagram’s algorithm shifts toward recommending more posts from accounts you don’t follow, particularly Reels.

While some people might appreciate a break from politics, others find the changes alarming, as social media is a key tool for community organizing and disseminating information about current events. Additionally, Instagram’s definition of political content is a bit broad: it describes political content as anything that is “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.

Change Instagram’s political content settings

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

  • On the Instagram app, use the bottom navigation bar to click on your profile.
  • Once you are on your profile page, you will see a hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the upper right corner of your screen.
  • Now you should be on the “Settings & Activity” page. If you scroll to the middle of the menu, you’ll see a subtitle titled “What You See.” Three lines down, you can tap an option called “Content Preferences.”
  • From there, there is a tab that says “Political Content.” Click on it and you can toggle between the options of seeing political content from people you don’t follow or no longer seeing that content. 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, they should carry over to Threads, which is built into the app.

Image credits: Instagram

Why Instagram is changing the way you view political content

Meta, parent of platforms like Instagram and Facebook, has always had trouble when it comes to politics. These platforms played a role in the genocide in Myanmar and the spread of disinformation leading up to the January 6 Capitol attack. And then there was the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw a group of political consultants misuse the data of millions of Facebook users to help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. At Meta headquarters, a new US presidential election could simply mean that another public incident is inevitable.

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

We don’t yet know what types of content Instagram will ban and how it will affect creators, whose livelihoods depend on their ability to find new audiences. But at least Instagram will let creators check their account status, so they know if their account’s reach is limited.


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