Instagram Restricts Political Content in Error Before Trump-Biden Debate

Instagram says it accidentally restricted users’ access to political content just one day before the first 2024 presidential debate.

The social media giant quietly rolled out political content restrictions in February, explaining it would no longer “proactively recommend” related topics to users as a baseline. Instead, accounts have the option to customize their preferences on the app, permitting their algorithms to suggest political content if they so choose.

However, just hours before the first showdown between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, users noticed that their political content restrictions had once again been reset to the default setting: limited.

After online discourse gained traction, Meta communications director Andy Stone responded on Threads, writing, “This was an error and should not have happened. We’re working on getting it fixed.”

However, some social media users didn’t necessarily buy his excuse.

“You didn’t test this? Was this live testing? You didn’t know it wasn’t working until you were informed by a user? I hope you can see how this is all very difficult to believe,” writer and director Jay Arnold wrote in a Thread reply. Keith Edwards, a self-proclaimed democratic strategist and creator whose content revolves around politics, was among the first to express his discontent about the lack of transparency.

Users have called Meta out for censoring what they believe to be free speech in the past, and this new mix-up at headquarters does not appear to reflect positively for the company just four months out from the November election.

It remains to be seen how the social media platform will handle Thursday’s content when the presidential candidates have their first rematch in Atlanta, moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

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