Hundreds of Instagram Creators Warn Against ‘Serious Threat’ To Activism

instagram logo over open letter from content creators regarding the limitation of political content
Open Letter to Instagram Old Man Stocker/Shutterstock

Hundreds of political content creators have signed an open letter to Meta demanding that the company reverse its policy of automatically limiting political content on Instagram and Threads.

Two organizations were behind the open letter. One was Accountable Tech, a not-for-profit that aims “to curb the societal harms driven by Big Tech’s toxic business practices.” Another was GLAAD, a non-profit LGBTQ advocacy organization.

This controversial choice of Meta’s was first announced on Feb. 9, with the company saying in a blog post: “We’re always working to improve our recommendation systems and give people control so we can connect people with the most relevant posts to them.”

After toggling the setting to “limit political content” for all users by default on Instagram and Threads, many creators didn’t notice until over a month later.

And now, after calling out the practice online, signatories are demanding Meta to “empower” social media users to make their own choices. The letter is specifically addressed to Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram.

“As users of Meta’s platforms, we did not choose to automatically opt-out of receiving suggested political content on civic activism and news updates,” the letter reads.

“Removing political recommendations as a default setting, and consequently stopping people from seeing suggested political content poses a serious threat to political engagement, education, and activism.”

Political content, under Meta’s new definition, refers to “topics that affect a group of people and/or society at large.” But can the internet really exist without content about the things that matter to all of us?

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