Instagram removes ‘Recent’ tab on hashtag pages before US polls

As the US enters the election week, Instagram has temporarily removed the Recent tab on hashtag pages to stop the spread of harmful content around the presidential polls.

In a normal scenario when people search a hashtag on Instagram, they can choose between the Top posts or the most recent ones.

Now, they can only view the top posts on the Facebook-owned platform.

“Starting today, for people in the US, 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 said in a tweet on Friday.

The popular photo and video sharing platform have already taken some steps to prevent the spread of election-related misinformation on its platform.

Facebook took down 120,000 posts across its main app and Instagram in October that violated its voter interference policies.

“As we near the US elections, we’re making changes to make it harder for people to come across possible misinformation on Instagram,” the company reiterated.

Facebook has said it will ban ads that wrongly claim victory in the US polls.

The social network is also working on other steps to stop abuse and maintain election integrity.

Stressing that next week will certainly be a test for Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said election integrity is and will be an ongoing challenge even after November 3.

On Thursday, he mentioned steps the company has taken to make ads transparent.

“Anyone who wants to run a political or social issue ad has to go through our authorisation process first. And between March and September, we rejected ads 2.2 million times, before they could run, for trying to target the US without authorization,” he informed.

“We are very focused on voter suppression. We are working closely with experts in the space, including civil rights leaders”.