Instagram to start taking Action against Misinformation Using Facebook Model

Facebook has been partnering with several fact-checking sites, and now Instagram will also benefit from it by reducing the reach of posts having inaccurate information.

Facebook has joined hands with 52 fact-checking sites, residing in around 30 countries around the world. Whenever one of these partners mark any picture, video or link as false, posts reach in News Feed is instantly reduced and a warning is given before users share it on their profile.

According to Poynter, the same model is now implemented on Instagram to check the accuracy of images or memes spread on the platform. Spokesperson Instagram, Stephanie Otway said that misinformation on Instagram is handled the same as on Facebook. Instead of deleting the post, its reach is decreased.

Visual recognition system is used to identify the fake content and then pre-programmed actions are taken against it. Whenever such a post is recognized, it is removed from the Explore tab and as well as from hashtag search results. Users usually cannot easily find it, except if they are directly following the account that posted it.

Otway revealed that Instagram started working with Facebook's News Feed Integrity team after the mid-term elections in the US.

There is a lot of misinformation on Instagram and requires specific methods to control it. Considering this, Instagram started collaborating with Facebook’s partners to deal with the issue.

The allegedly false posts on Instagram will be transferred to the same dashboard used by the Facebook's fact-checking moderators where they are analyzed and required actions are taken if misinformation is recognized.

Instagram is also working on educating users regarding fake news on the platform, e.g., popups will be shown when users will search about anti-vaccine misinformation.

After YouTube and Facebook, Instagram is the third platform to take action against misinformation, unlike Twitter which has not yet done much about it.

Related: True Or False? Spot Fake News On Internet With These Tips

Instagram to reduce the reach of posts debunked by fact-checking partners
Photo: Erik Lucatero

Steps taken to reduce the spread of misinformation on Instagram are highly appreciated as a lot of people, especially youth use the platform to keep themselves informed.

The executive director of PolitiFact, Aaron Sharockman showed concern that fact-checking impact may not be as efficient, as misinformation on Facebook and Instagram is spreading in different ways and methods.

Aos Fatos, director of Brazil-based fact-checking site said that pictures are a major source of spreading information and warning should be given to users. However, it is just a beginning and work can be done on it later.

He further added that there are many other platforms who face issues of misinformation but Facebook is the most prominent of all that is taking action against it.

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