Social Media

Instagram removes ‘recent’ tab from hashtag pages for US users ahead of elections

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on October 30, 2020 Published on October 30, 2020

Instagram will temporarily remove the “recent” tab from hashtag pages for users in the US ahead of the 2020 US Presidential elections.

The Facebook-owned platform, in a statement on Twitter had said it will make certain changes to prevent the spread of misinformation ahead of the elections.

“As we near the US elections, we’re making changes to make it harder for people to come across possible misinformation on Instagram,” the company tweeted from its official Comms account.

“Starting today, for people in the US we will temporarily remove the “recent” tab from hashtag pages. We’re doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election,” it said.

The “recent" tab arranges hashtags in chronological order. It helps amplify content under certain hashtags. The move is meant to limit the spread of content under select hashtags meant to spread misinformation.

Facebook in the past few months has announced various changes to its platform and policies leading up to the elections in November.

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In order to prevent misinformation, it will run a notification at the top of Facebook and Instagram and apply labels to candidates’ posts directing users to its Voting Information Centre, it had said in a blog post.

In case a projected winner has been declared by a major media outlet before results are announced, it will add more specific information in the notifications stating that counting is still in progress and no winner has been determined. It will add the source of the information within the notification.

The social media giant will also ban ads spreading election misinformation and those from candidates that prematurely claim victory.

It will also temporarily halt all social issues, electoral or political ads in the US after the polls close on November 3.

Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, earlier this week had said that the platform had “helped 4.4M people register across Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.” This estimate was based on conversion rates calculated by Facebook, based on data from states that it had partnered with.

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Published on October 30, 2020
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