A Meta ‘error’ broke the political content filter on Threads and Instagram

A Meta ‘error’ broke the political content filter on Threads and Instagram

Earlier this year, Meta made the controversial decision to automatically limit political content from users’ recommendations in Threads and Instagram by default. The company said that it didn’t want to “proactively amplify” political posts and that users could opt-in via their Instagram settings if they did want to see such content.

But, it turns out, that Meta continued to limit political content even for users who had opted in to seeing it. An unspecified “error” apparently caused the “political content” toggle — already buried several layers deep into Instagram’s settings menu — to revert back to the “limit” setting each time the app closed. Political content, according to Meta, “is likely to mention governments, elections, or social topics that affect a group of people and/or society at large.”



The issue was flagged by Threads users, including Democratic strategist Keith Edwards, and confirmed by Engadget. It’s unclear how long the “error” was affecting users’ recommendations. “This was an error and should not have happened,” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone wrote on Threads. “We’re working on getting it fixed.” Meta didn’t respond to questions about how long the setting had not been working properly.

The issue is likely to raise questions about Meta’s stance on political content. Though Threads is often compared to X, the company has taken an aggressive stance on content moderation, limiting the visibility of political content and outright blocking “potentially sensitive” topics, including anything related to COVID-19, from search results.

By John Routledge

Founder and owner of Technoshia.com - I'm an avid tech junkie, a lover of new gadgets and home automation. You will often find me reading, writing, and learning about new technologies. I've been featured in many leading technology magazines where I've written about my favorite topics.