Instagram expands fact-checking globally

By Xite - December 17, 2019
The move is an important step in Instagram's ongoing efforts to fight misinformation on its platform. Now, if a content been rated as false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker, Instagram wil....

The rise of photo and video based misinformation is increasingly globally and platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have been focused on addressing them. In May, Instagram started working with third-party fact-checkers in the US to help identify, review and label false information. And today, the photo-sharing platform has announced to expand the fact-checking programme globally to allow fact-checking organisations around the world to assess and rate misinformation on platform.

These partners independently assess false information to help Instagram catch it and reduce its distribution.

What Does This Mean?

Now, when a third-party fact-checker rates a content as false or partly false by, Instagram reduces its distribution by removing it from Explore and hashtag pages. In addition, the company will now label it so people can decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share. When these labels are applied, they will appear to everyone around the world viewing that content – in feed, profile, stories, and direct messages.

Instagram uses image matching technology to find such content and apply the label, helping reduce the spread of misinformation. Additionally, if something is rated false or partly false on Facebook, the company will automatically label identical content if it is posted on Instagram (and vice versa). The label will link out to the rating from the fact-checker and provide links to articles from credible sources that debunk the claim(s) made in the post.

‘We make content from accounts that repeatedly receive these labels harder to find by removing it from Explore and hashtag pages. To determine which content should be sent to fact-checkers for review, we use a combination of feedback from our community and technology. Earlier this year, we added a ‘False Information’ feedback option, and these reports, along with other signals, help us to better identify and take action on potentially false information,’ the company said in a blog post.

Earlier this week, Instagram rolled out a ‘Caption Warning’ feature to keep a check on abuse and harassment messages on the site. The company will now issue prompts to users who write abusive messages in photo captions. 

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