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Automated Censorship

Instagram Creators: Check If Your Posts Are “Political”

The platform will not “proactively recommend content about politics.” See if what you’ve posted counts

President Joe Biden poses for selfies with supporters after speaking on February 15, 2023 in Lanham, Maryland. Instagram recently began limiting political content. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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If you opened Instagram last week, you may have seen one of many tutorials on how to opt out of a setting that was quietly released in February: Instagram and Threads users will no longer be recommended political content from people they don’t follow. 

Instagram “won’t proactively recommend content about politics,” according to a blog post it issued Feb. 9. While the policy was launched without making headlines, it spiked attention last week as Instagram users took to the platform to raise awareness about the change. 

What counts as politics? The company’s announcement defined “political content” as “potentially related to things like laws, elections, or social topics,” and Instagram’s help page adds content about “governments” to the list. But the most comprehensive definition is displayed where users can go to turn off the limits on political content: “Political content is likely to mention governments, elections, or social topics that affect a group of people and/or society at large.”

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Check If Your Posts Are “Political”

While not every Instagram user will be able to review whether their content is considered political—and therefore no longer eligible for recommendation—professional users such as creators or businesses have the power to check. (If you can see Instagram’s “Insights” analytics for your account, you have a professional account.) 

On a desktop or mobile browser: You can go to Account Status directly.

On your Account Status page, you can check whether Instagram will no longer recommend something you’ve posted (such as content deemed political), by clicking through “What can’t be recommended.” 

This is what Account Status looked like on The Markup’s account today. So far, none of our recent posts have been flagged as political:

  1. Screenshot of the "Account status" page on The Markup's Instagram account that gives the user the ability to review whether the account has had removed content, what can't be recommended, monetization, and features you can't use.
  2. Screenshot of Instagram's "what can't be recommended page" accessed from The Markup's Instagram account. It says that "your content may be eligible for recommendation" in big text and explains below that that means content may be eligible in places like Explore, Search, Suggested Users, Reels, or Feed Recommendations.
The Markup’s account status on March 25, 2024.
Credit: The Markup

While all users have an “Account Status” page, only professional accounts have the “What can’t be recommended” and “Monetization” status checks.

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Tell Us What You Find

Help us figure out exactly what Instagram counts as “political content.” If, after checking the Account Status of your professional account, you see that one or more of your posts have been flagged as political, take a screenshot and send it to The Markup. You can DM us on Instagram directly @the.markup, or email it to us at

A Markup investigation published in February found that Instagram demoted nongraphic photos of soldiers, destroyed buildings, and military tanks from on the ground in Gaza. If you think you’ve been shadowbanned on Instagram—or if the app has notified you that it has removed your content or limited your account in some way—here’s what you can do.

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