Instagram will soon join the bandwagon for filtering posts that include misinformation. To do so, it will soon partner with parent company Facebook’s own fact checking partners, and verify whether posts that have been flagged are actually propagating fake news. By doing so, it is also taking an approach similar to Facebook, wherein such posts will not be outright banned from the platform, but instead have its reach and discoverability cut off.
In the recent past, Instagram has received the effect of Facebook’s fact checking endeavours in bit-part ways. For instance, when images portraying fake news are detected on Facebook, the same information points are used to search for similar content on Instagram, and are subsequently banned. However, this has not been sufficient as yet, since both Facebook and Instagram have plenty of mutually exclusive photos that spread misinformation.
According to a report by Poynter, Instagram is reportedly considering options such as providing warning prompts, when individuals search for conspiracy theories and other deliberate propaganda. However, such an act may not be enough, since the free speech content policy guidelines for the social media platforms mean that these prompts can be bypassed with one tap, thereby leaving them with the ability to discover such posts.
An Engadget report on the same states that many have been clamouring for a feature to label fake news posts on Instagram explicitly, alongside curtailing their reach and discoverability. It remains to be seen what Instagram eventually does, once its posts start being natively fact-checked by Facebook’s partners in the days to come.