Threads Now Lets You Control How Much Political Content You See

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With the 2024 US presidential election approaching, you can expect to see a lot more political posts on social networks, including Meta’s threads. You may want to avoid these types of posts as much as possible or dive head first into political discussions and debates. In any case, with Threads you now have more control over how much political content appears in your feed.

A new setting now rolling out in the Threads app for iOS and Android lets you control how you handle political content. There are two options: Don’t Limit allows more political and social content in your feed, while Limit promises to show you less political or social content.

Also: Threads launches Trending Now feed in the US – find out how to access it here

To manage this setting in the Threads app, tap your profile icon in the bottom right, select the globe icon in the top left to go to the privacy screen, and tap “Other privacy settings.”

<!–> Threads app settings

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

This will take you to a separate screen with settings that apply to both Threads and Instagram. On this screen, swipe down to the “What you see” section and tap the “Content Settings” setting. Next, tap the “Political Content” setting and select either “Don’t Restrict” or “Limit.”

–> Threads app political content setting

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

If you don’t see the Political Content setting, you may have to wait another day or two as it’s still in the rollout stage.

Okay good. But depending on which option you choose, where and how would you even see political content in threads?

On one of its support pages, Meta explains: “In Threads, we also don’t recommend political content from profiles you don’t follow. You won’t see political content in in-feed recommendations, suggested accounts, or notifications. If you follow Threads profiles that post about these topics, those posts will continue to appear in your feed.

How does Threads determine what counts as political content? The support page lists three areas: 1) Governments, 2) Elections, and 3) Social Issues. Threads and Instagram use AI to determine whether an account or post addresses one of these areas. For political content, the technology detects whether a post is considered political, but does not take specific political opinions into account, the support page says.

Also: I tried replacing Twitter with Bluesky, Threads and Mastodon: What I found

Although the new setting gives you some control over how political posts are displayed, there are some drawbacks.

First, there is no way to completely block political content. So it seems you’ll still get some even if you choose to limit them. Second, the option you choose applies to both Threads and Instagram. There is no way to control each platform separately. Still, the setting at least gives you a say, especially at a time when political discussions on social media so often turn into political arguments.

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