An Instagram update that automatically limits the amount of political content appearing in users’ feeds has sparked a wave of discontent among social media users and activists, including pro-Palestine activists, who accuse the platform of censorship.

A setting for “political content” was added to the app, which is owned by Meta, apparently without notifying users of the change. The setting is set to “limit” by default, although users can manually change it to “not limit”.

The change affects posts “likely to mention governments, elections or social topics that affect a large group of people and/or society at large,” according to a guidance note.

It will also affect “suggestions in Explore, Reels, feed recommendations, and suggested users,” as well as Instagram’s sister app Threads, he added.

The move appears to be generating a lot of controversy, especially among activist groups who use the platform to share information and mobilize support. The accusation of censorship is a significant blow to the image of Instagram, which has always prided itself on being a platform where users can freely express their opinions.

Pro-Palestine activists were particularly vocal in their criticism of the update. They argue that limiting political content is an attempt to silence their voices and prevent their messages from reaching a wider audience.

It is not yet clear whether Meta will respond to the criticism or make changes to the configuration. However, this update certainly raises important questions about freedom of expression on social media and the role these platforms play in shaping public discourse. This situation serves as a reminder that decisions by technology companies can have significant and far-reaching implications for users around the world.

Font: Meeddle East Eye


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