Statements
2024

Accountable Tech Statement on Meta’s Erroneous Limitation of Political Content

Accountable Tech Executive Director and Co-Founder Nicole Gill issued the following statement on Meta briefly defaulting all Instagram accounts to limit political content, a day before the first U.S. presidential debate: 

“Error or not, Meta just demonstrated how quickly they can disrupt the lives of creators and the millions of brands and campaigns that invest in creators to tell their story or sell a product. ‘Political’ content on Instagram includes anything that discusses politics, elections, and social issues, which could include topics as broad as civic engagement, climate change, gun violence prevention, racial justice, disability discrimination, transgender rights, and reproductive freedom.

“In the middle of an election year and the day before the first Presidential Debate, Meta has just shown us all that with a flick of a switch, the company has the power to change algorithms and settings unbeknownst to users and creators with profound implications for the reach of content focused on political education, activism, and mobilization.

“Users and creators deserve immediate answers from Meta. How was such a significant mistake made? Will the past setting selections of accounts be respected or will users have to opt back into seeing political content on Instagram? How long was this setting affected?”

Background:

Accountable Tech and GLAAD organized an open letter from over 200 creators in April in response to Meta’s implementation of new limitations on political content on Instagram and Threads. The letter calls on Meta to give users the autonomy to adjust their algorithm by making the setting to limit political content an opt-in user choice, rather than on-by-default.

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