Instagram pauses 'recent' search listings
With just days to go until the US Election, Instagram has announced that it will remove the 'Recent' tab from hashtag searches on the platform temporarily.
For users in the United States, Instagram will temporarily remove the "Recent" tab from hashtag pages starting Thursday, it said in a statement on Twitter. "We're doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election," the statement added.
Starting today, for people in the U.S. 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.— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) October 29, 2020
As we near the U.S. elections, we’re making changes to make it harder for people to come across possible misinformation on Instagram.— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) October 29, 2020
It looks like Instagram's trying to give its fact-checkers a bit of an assist - by stopping the flow of hashtagged posted via 'Recent', that will mean users will only be able to see the 'Top' listing, which is based on engagement, and relevance. The posts are therefore more likely to have been vetted, at least somewhat, as opposed to being a flow of real-time updates.
It was the result of a policy change Facebook announced last month to block new political ads in the week prior to the elections. Facebook said it has made updates to enable the affected ads to run.