Estimated reading time 6 min

How to turn off recommendation algorithms on the main social media platforms

The big social media platforms must allow you to opt out of personalised content feeds. We've listed instructions on how to turn off recommendation algorithms on eight different platforms.


Rosa-Maria Mäkelä

Specialist, Digital power and democracy

Tarmo Toikkanen

Senior Lead, Competitiveness through data


The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to ensure that digital services take responsibility for the content they stream, store and distribute. The new legislation will make democratic values, such as individual rights, more effective in the information environment. 
The transitional period of the Digital Services Act ended on 17 February 2024 and it became fully applicable in the EU. It requires that users of services must be able to opt out of the personalised content feeds that recommendation systems provide. The regulation applies to digital services considered very large, which are those used by more than 10% of Europeans. 
Here, we show you how you can now influence the content feeds of the social media services you use, based on the algorithms they use. 
We’re not saying that recommendation algorithms should be permanently turned off for everyone. It’s up to you to decide where you want to see recommended content that you feel comfortable spending time with – sometimes for hours. But at times there are situations where you want to get the latest updates from your friends efficiently and focus on something else. You can do this by temporarily turning off content recommendation. It’s a tool that we can all control, and using it wisely can improve our daily lives and use of time.  
We went through the major platforms and collected instructions on how to turn off the addictive algorithm. At the same time, we scored the services on how user-friendly their algorithm modification is.

Services included in the list 

  • LinkedIn 
  • TikTok 
  • Facebook 
  • Instagram 
  • X (formerly Twitter) 
  • YouTube 
  • Pinterest 
  • Snapchat 

Below are service-specific instructions and our usability rating. 

You can access the instructions by clicking “See instructions”. 

And please note that turning off content recommendation will not stop social media services from collecting your user behaviour data or profiling you. 

Open LinkedIn. 

Provisional selection 

  • On mobile: click the arrow button next to the search field at the top.  
  • In a browser: open the “Select feed view” option above the content. 
  • Select “Most recent first”. 

Permanent selection 

  • In the top corner, select your own icon, “Me”.  
  • Select “Settings & Privacy”. 
  • Select “Feed preferences”. 
  • Select “Most recent posts”.  

LinkedIn is the only platform that allows you to turn off personalisation by default and temporarily. Switching between these two views improves the LinkedIn user experience.

When content recommendation is turned off, you can see the most recent content from your contacts in chronological order.

Our usability rating: 5/5. 

Permanent choice 

  • Open TikTok.  
  • Open Settings.  
  • Select “Content preferences”.  
  • Switch “Personalised feeds” to Off.  
  • Bonus: If you wish, you can also switch the “Personalised search” to “Off”.  

When content recommendation is turned on, the “For You” view is the familiar content generated by the algorithm. The “Following” view is the algorithm’s selection feed of messages from the contacts it follows. 

When content recommendation is turned off, “For You” contains the most popular content, which is pretty useless. The “Following” view shows the latest content from your own contacts in chronological order. 

Our usability rating: 4/5.

Provisional selection 

On Facebook, content recommendation cannot be turned off by default. It takes two clicks to select a direct feed view of the latest messages from your contacts, in chronological order, without the content provided by the algorithm. 

Our rating for usability: 3/5.


  • Open Instagram. 
  • Click on “For you” in the top corner. 
  • Select “Following”. 

On Instagram, content recommendation cannot be turned off by default. You have to select a direct feed with two clicks to see the latest content from your contacts in chronological order. 

Our usability rating: 3/5. 

Messaging service X (Twitter)

  • Open Twitter.  
  • At the top you will see the options “For you” and “Following”. Select “Following”.  

In X, content recommendation cannot be turned off by default. To see the latest content from your contacts in chronological order, you have to select the view with a single click.

Our usability rating: 3/5

In your browser 

On your mobile 

  • Press the “Subscriptions” button at the bottom.   
  • Bonus: Turn off the auto-start feature of the next video, so you don’t get one video after another. You can do this by watching any video and clicking the “Autoplay” icon at the bottom of the screen to turn it off. It will remain off until you turn it back on. 

On YouTube, content recommendation cannot be turned off by default. You have to go to your own channel subscriptions to see their videos in chronological order. The suggestions served after each video are always selected by the recommendation algorithm, which is why you may want to turn off auto-start videos.

Our usability rating: 2/5

Content recommendation cannot be turned off. However, you can reduce the number of recommendations you see by selecting the following options:  

  • Under the “Tune your home feed” section, you can turn off some of the things that affect recommendations.  
  • Under “Privacy & Data”, you can adjust the targeting of ads and cookies.  
  • Under “Social permissions”, you can turn off automatic video playback and a feature that targets purchase recommendations.  

Pinterest doesn’t seem to have the necessary algorithm shutdown at all. Some adjustments can be made in the settings.

Our usability rating: 1/5.

  • Go to the Stories tab. 
  • Click on the picture of your avatar. 
  • Go to settings. 
  • Go to advanced services and click on “European Union Controls”. 
  • Disable “Show personalised content”. 

Snapchat’s implementation is probably in line with the requirements of the law, but as bad an experience as possible. The non-personalised feed contains not only photos and videos from your own friends, but also unfiltered posts from various other parties. The feed is effectively unusable.

Our usability rating: 1/5.

What's this about?