For some Instagram users, scrolling through their feeds after the election results felt a bit like time travel.
When some people opened the app last night and this morning, they saw optimistic posts about casting historic votes for Hillary Clinton with their daughters by their sides at the top of their feeds — at the same time as or even after the election was being called in favor of Donald Trump.
Instagram introduced a new algorithm in March to organize feeds according to what people might be most interested in looking at, rather than chronological order.
The scenario shows how Instagram’s algorithm left it behind in the news on a day when people were glued to social media as election results poured in. It also reflects how social media has increasingly become a partisan echo chamber that affirms it users’ beliefs while shielding them from opposing viewpoints.