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On Meta, politicians have freedom of speech, not freedom of reach…unless they pay

Summarised by Centrist

Recent changes by Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to restrict political content recommendations is, by definition, chilling political discourse. But all is not lost. Users can still opt in and politicians can still pay for targeted ads.

Meta has long stated their intention to deprioritise political content, citing user feedback and integrity concerns. However, many see the change as little more than a potential money-making strategy for the social media giant. 

Critics argue the changes could lead to a “political chilling effect” as content creators survive by the algorithm recommending them to audiences. These changes will discourage them from addressing issues possibly seen as “political”, which may have an overall impact on democratic participation.

Other social media platforms like TikTok, despite limitations on political advertising, continue to play an ever increasing role in engaging younger demographics, influencing political narratives, and mobilising support.

While Meta’s move may compel politicians and groups to invest more in targeted ads, it is also symbolic of how political communication evolves. Yet some argue that meeting voters face to face is still the best way to reach people. 

Read more over at The NZ Herald (PAYWALLED)

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