Instagram And Threads Change Settings To Suppress Political Topics

With the 2024 presidential election just 7 months away, Meta-owned Instagram and Threads have decided to suppress political content by automatically changing users’ settings without their consent.

Although users can manually go and revert back to their original setting, the change manipulates the apps’ algorithms to bury not only political content, but anything mentioning “laws, elections, or social topics.”

Of course, that is a very broad spectrum, as the term “social topics” is entirely up for interpretation and seems to fly in the face of reason, considering that the apps are, in fact, social media platforms. Apparently, Meta prefers customers who are just good, complacent media consumers watching videos of cats and make-up tutorials. No critical thinking or individual thought necessary or encouraged.

In order to bypass the egregious violation of personal agency, users need to go to their settings and click on “content preferences,” then “political content.” The user then needs to manually choose that they want to be shown the content.

In a defensive statement, Meta spokesperson Dani Lever said, “This announcement expands on years of work on how we approach and treat political content based on what people have told us they wanted,” and then added, “And now, people are going to be able to control whether they would like to have these types of posts recommended to them.”

What Level failed to mention is that, judging by public reaction, not many people really wanted Meta to unilaterally make the decision for users to turn the content off. If anything, that decision should rest with the users alone, especially in an election year.

Although the company makes changing the preferences sound easy, many have also reported technical difficulties, reporting the app crashing or simply logging the user out of Instagram without anything being changed.

Meta has already had a long history of censoring and suppressing conservative content, often limiting views or searchability for accounts it considers troublesome. It has also been a notorious “fact-checker,” picking out content and labeling either false or “hate speech” on a spurious basis that reflects its own political bias.

The advent of social media platforms as a major form of communication has presented great opportunities for fair and objective debate in democratic society. Although companies like Meta have virtue signaled to present the appearance of promoting open speech and democracy, the suppression of users, content and choice shows a completely different picture.