Instagram will no longer recommend content it deems inappropriate in its app. It says these contents don’t need to explicitly break the app’s set down rules. This follows Facebook’s update to manage illicit contents across its Family apps.
Instagram is now taking steps to limit the kinds of content that can appear in the explore page and hashtag posts.
In a statement, Facebook says if a sexually suggestive post appears in a feed, you will be able to see it if you follow that page. But it will not appear for other users in the explore or hashtag page.
Content that Instagram finds as low quality or un-recommendable will also not appear in the said pages. Users say this sounds very similar to shadowbans.
Spammy, violent and sexually suggestive will also get limited reach. However, Instagram will still remove posts that break its rules. The recommendation exclusion will apply to content that does not exactly contradict its rules but may still be considered inappropriate or of low quality.
Instagram’s product manager, Will Ruben, said the company is being careful in its definition. According to him, the new changes will only affect some content. Also, the past behavioural history of an account holder will also influence the decision on who gets barred. If a person previously had a post violating Instagram’s rules, the site will block them from being on the hashtag or explore pages for a period.
These changes are a little controversial as Instagram has already faced accusations of purposely making some accounts less visible in the feed. A lot of brands rely on the explore page for reach, and Instagram’s methods of recommendations have always been questioned.