Instagram is taking a new step to prevent the spread of misinformation ahead of the presidential election. The app is temporarily disabling “recent” posts from appearing on hashtag pages in order “to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election,” the company said.
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
Historically, Instagram has been slower to deal with conspiracy theories and misinformation than Facebook. In 2016, the photo sharing app was “the most effective tool used by the IRA to conduct its information operations campaign,” according to a subsequent report on Russia’s election interference from the Senate Intelligence Committee. And the app’s fact-checking policies only fully caught up to Facebook’s this year.