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

Earlier this year, Meta made the controversial decision limit automatically political content from user recommendations on Threads and Instagram by default. The company said it doesn’t want to “proactively boost” political posts, and users can opt-in through Instagram settings if they want to see such content.

But it turns out that Meta has continued to restrict political content even to users who want to see it. An unspecified “bug” apparently caused the “political content” link – now buried several layers deep Go to Instagram’s settings menu — to return to the “limit” setting every time the app closes. According to Meta, political content “refers to governments, elections, or social issues that affect a group of people and/or society as a whole.”

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The problem was pointed out by Threads users, including a Democratic strategist Keith Edwards, and endorsed by Engadget. It’s unclear how long the “bug” affected user recommendations. “This was a mistake and should not have happened,” wrote Meta spokesman Andy Stone. About Threads. “We are working on fixing it.” Meta did not respond to questions about how long the setting had been malfunctioning.

The issue is likely to raise questions about Meta’s stance on political content. While Threads is often compared to X, the company has taken an aggressive stance on content moderation, According ability politically charged and direct blocking “Potentially sensitive” topics from search results, including anything related to COVID-19.

Stone later confirmed that the alleged error has been corrected. “Earlier today we identified a bug in the Instagram political content settings tool where people’s preferences appeared to be mistakenly reset even though no changes had been made,” he wrote in Threads. “The problem has now been fixed and we encourage people to check and make sure their settings reflect their preferences.”

Update June 26, 2024, 8:04 PM ET: Added additional comments from Meta spokesperson Andy Stone.

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