Instagram Secretly Limited Political Content From Platform, Causes Outrage

With the election months away, Instagram secretly rolled out a program to suppress political material from its platform.

Instagram announced the decision on Feb. 9 in a blog post, stating that the social media giant was changing the way it displayed political content and wouldn’t “proactively recommend content about politics on recommendation surfaces across Instagram and Threads.”

According to the social media platform’s parent company, Meta, it decided to make the change after users requested not to see less political content.

The change was automatically made to every user’s account, meaning that users will now have to turn the filter off in their settings to access political content, something not specifically mentioned in the post. The main issue is that most Instagram users had no idea about this new change until a few days ago.

Conservative users believe that Meta is attempting to censor right-leaning content, while liberal users believe the platform is attempting to censor pro-Palestinian content related to Israel’s attack on Gaza.

Users on both sides believe that the timing of this change is suspicious, with just months away from the 2024 presidential election.

Human Rights Watch reported that Meta removed over 1,050 posts created by Palestinians and their supporters between October and November 2023.

The change also got the attention of several public figures. Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked the question, “Why is Meta attempting to censor the democratic process?”

Conservative comedian Tim Young also commented about the change, writing how “convenient” it was for Meta to make the change to the platform before the election.

With social media platforms becoming popular in recent years, many people use them to stay updated on the latest news. Meta is no stranger to facing criticism over attempting to suppress information.

From 2020 to summer 2022, Meta deleted over 25 million posts on Facebook that it said contained misinformation. A lot of the posts removed expressed skepticism about the COVID vaccines and argued that wearing masks was ineffective, statements that have since been proven to hold some truth.

In such a time of censorship, many social media users find themselves flocking towards X due to its stance on free speech and being more welcome to political ideations.

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