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How to turn off Instagram’s political content filter

It’s election season in the U.S., and Instagram is changing the way it recommends political content. On Instagram and newer X competitor Threads, the change won’t affect the content you see from accounts you already follow. But these platforms don’t proactively recommend content about politics, which may limit users’ ability to learn about political issues from people outside their existing circles. This is especially impactful because Instagram’s algorithm shifts to recommending more posts from accounts you don’t follow (especially Reels).

While some may welcome the shift away from politics, others find these changes worrisome, as social media is a key tool for communities to organize and disseminate information about current events. Additionally, Instagram’s definition of political content is a bit broad — it describes political content as any content that “may be related to things like law, 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, follow the steps below 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 the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the upper right corner of your screen.
  • You should now be on the Settings & Activity page. If you scroll down to the middle of the menu, you’ll see a subtitle called “What You See.” Three lines down, you can click on an option called “Content Preferences.”
  • From there, there’s a tab that says “Political Content.” Clicking the button will give you the ability to toggle between viewing political content from people you don’t follow or the option to no longer view that content. If you don’t want political content filtered from your feed, select “Don’t restrict political content from people you don’t follow.”

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

Image Source: Instagram

Why Instagram is changing the way you see political content

Meta, the parent company of platforms like Instagram and Facebook, has been in trouble politically. These platforms played a role in the spread of disinformation leading up to the genocide in Myanmar and the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Then there was the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a political consulting group hijacked the data of millions of Facebook users to help Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. At Meta headquarters, another U.S. presidential election could mean another public disaster is inevitable.

But these massive algorithmic shifts have consequences—whether Meta likes it or not, that’s the reality of social media platforms used by billions of people. Limiting political content will have knock-on effects.

We don’t yet know what types of content Instagram will ban and how this will impact creators, whose livelihoods are affected by 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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