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It looks like Meta is distancing itself — and users — from political content even more.

It’s easy to see why. Social media sites have been rife with misinformation and disinformation during past elections. It seems Meta’s response to these egregious mistakes is to make political content rarer on its platforms. Users have noticed that Instagram and Threads are quite literally putting limits on political content. On many users’ accounts, including my own, the settings were automatically set to “limit” users from seeing “political content.” 

To toggle this on or off Instagram and Threads, navigate to your settings in the Instagram app and scroll down to “content preferences.” There, you’ll see a few options for controlling the kinds of content you want to see on your account. If you click “political content,” you’ll be brought to a page that reads: “Political content is likely to mention governments, elections, or social topics that affect a group of people and society at large.” You have two options. The first is “don’t limit,” which means “you might see more political or social topics in your suggested content.” The second is “limit,” which means “you might see less political or social topics in your suggested content. Whatever you choose will also be applied to your Threads account.

As Instagram describes, this decision affects all of the suggested posts in Explore, Reels, Feed Recommendations, and Suggested Users. “It does not affect the content from accounts you follow,” Instagram says. 

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Mashable, but this change doesn’t come much as a surprise. Last month, Instagram and Threads told us they’d be doing something like this. The company said in a blog post that it would no longer “proactively recommend political content from accounts you don’t follow.”

“These recommendations updates apply to public accounts and in places where we recommend content such as Explore, Reels, In-Feed Recommendations and Suggested Users – it doesn’t change how we show people content from accounts they choose to follow,” the social media giant wrote in a blog post. “If political content – potentially related to things like laws, elections, or social topics – is posted by an account that is not eligible to be recommended, that account’s content can still reach their followers in Feed and Stories.”

Instagram Head Adam Mosseri said that the platform’s “goal is to preserve the ability for people to choose to interact with political content while respecting each person’s appetite for it.” The changes began rolling out slowly, and while they’re active for many users already, they might not be active for all users just yet.

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