To combat the spread of misinformation, Facebook-owned Instagram has announced to expand its fact-checking programme globally to allow fact-checking organizations to assess and rate misinformation on its platform. In May, Instagram began working with third-party fact-checkers in the US to help identify, review and label false information. It will now work with third-party organizations worldwide to assess the truthfulness of photo and video content on its app. "These partners independently assess false information to help us catch it and reduce its distribution," the company said in a statement.
"When content has been rated as false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker, we reduce its distribution by removing it from Explore and hashtag pages. In addition, it will be labeled so people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share," it added. When these labels are applied, they will appear to everyone around the world viewing that content: in feed, profile, stories, and direct messages.
Instagram said it will use image-matching technology to find further instances of this content and apply the label, helping reduce the spread of misinformation. "In addition, if something is rated false or partly false on Facebook, starting today we'll automatically label identical content if it is posted on Instagram (and vice versa)," said the company.
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. To determine which content should be sent to fact-checkers for review, Instagram said it uses a combination of feedback from its community and technology. Earlier this year, its 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.
Earlier, to tackle bullying on its platform, Instagram rolled out a new feature that notifies people when their captions on a photo or video may be considered offensive and give them a chance to pause and reconsider their words before posting. "As part of our long-term commitment to lead the fight against online bullying, we've developed and tested Artificial Intelligence that can recognize different forms of bullying on Instagram," said the company.