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Instagram Followers Evolving with Social Issue Ads

It is no secret that Instagram had interference in the 2016 US election. For this reason, the company made a number of changes to its ads policies. The aim is to provide more transparency when it comes to ads about social issues, politics, and elections.

In addition, Instagram wants people to still be able to run their ads. However, it is aware that not all ads that could influence an election have a direct relation to a candidate or to voting. Rather, some ads can be about what Instagram calls “social issues.” For instance, heavily debated and sensitive topics such as social and civil rights, immigration, and the environment.

Instagram Made Changes on Social Issue Ads

To help people with this new change in policies, Instagram publicized some helpful tips to guide the people who may want to engage on social issues via Instagram ads. The company also added a number of resources with regards to the upcoming restriction period for ads that involve social issues, politics, and elections.

What Can You Consider as a Social Issue Ad?

Social issue ads play a significant role in elections and society itself. This is why Instagram requires increased authenticity and transparency in order to run such ads. In addition, the company believes that the discussion of social issues may influence the way people think, take action, or vote. As a result, this may impact outcomes, such as legislation or an election. 

The social media platform’s policy reflects the public discourse revolving around social issues both on and off Instagram and its parent company Facebook. This public discourse aims to influence the opinion of the public through debate, discussion, and advocacy. 

Many examples of social issues include ads that debate about, discuss or advocate against social topics. The most popular being immigration reform, the Black Lives Matter movement, climate change activism, and healthcare reform. 

Moreover, individuals who want to run social issue ads will first be required to complete an ad authorization process. They should also include a “Paid for By” disclaimer on those ads. This is for people to see who is responsible for the ad that they are viewing. 

Upcoming Ad Restriction Period

Not too long ago, the social media giant Facebook will prohibit any new ads regarding social issues, politics, or elections during the campaign's final week. This began on October 27 and ended on November 3. It is crucial that campaigns and organizations can run out the vote campaigns. However, there may be instances when there may not be enough time to counter new claims in the remaining few days.  

Besides, ads may run through Election Day. But they have to run prior to October 27 before doing so. These ads will remain in the Ad Library for a week. There, they can be debated and discussed in the open. 

Instagram Made Changes on Social Issue Ads

After the closing of polls on November 3, the company will temporarily stop running US social issues and political and electoral ads. The reason is that Instagram wants to reduce the possibilities of confusion or abuse. Those ads that will stop temporarily will include those that may have run during the campaign’s final week. Additionally, buying Instagram followers for growth campaigns will notify advertisers when the said policy is lifted. 

Furthermore, the restrictions on US social issues, political and electoral ads for both pre and post-election periods apply on both Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram Removed the Recent Tab from Hashtag Pages Prior to the Election

Four days before the US presidential Election Day, Instagram also cracked down on hashtags in line with its new social issues ads policies. According to the company, it would temporarily remove the “recent” tab on hashtags pages. This move aims to stop the dissemination of harmful content around the election potentially. Originally, when a user searches for a hashtag on the platform, they will choose to either browse on the top posts or the most recent ones. But with this temporary change, users can only view the top hashtags.

Both Instagram and Facebook Took a Step Against Election-Related Misinformation

Instagram and Facebook, its parent company, have taken steps to prevent misinformation across different platforms before and during the presidential election. Earlier this month, the company announced that it took down 120,000 posts on both Facebook and Instagram. The reason is that those posts violated its voter interference policies. Also, the company added warnings to 150 million posts that its fact-checkers debunked. It also rejected 2.2 million ad submissions for targeting the US but did not complete its authorization process. 

The social media giant also emphasized that it will ban ads that wrongly claim victory in the US presidential election. Instagram followers will also reject ads from President Donald Trump's campaigns and his opponent Democratic nominee Joe Biden if any of them claim a win prematurely. 

Instagram Made Changes on Social Issue Ads

These all go along with the efforts of Facebook to ban social issues ads a week before the election. As mentioned, the social media giant also stopped accepting US-based political ads on Instagram after the election indefinitely. This avoids confusion and chaos that potential misinformation and premature announcements about the election results may bring. 

The Takeaway

Facebook and Instagram are two of the biggest social media platforms right now. Every day, billions of people access these apps and share various information, making them more prone to false news. This is the reason why the platforms constantly update their policies. 

There is no doubt that Instagram and Facebook are trying to prevent misinformation within their platforms. Followers on Instagram took the steps mentioned above to ensure that the election day and the days after it will remain peaceful. Besides, Facebook, which owns Instagram, also wants to ensure that people will not be confused by the misinformation that social issues ads may bring.

Until now, no one knows when the “recent” tab on the hashtags page will return. 

Date: March 24, 2021 / Categories: Follower Tactics, / Author: Joy P


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