Instagram expands its fact-check program to prevent misinformation

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 17, 2019, 10.59 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

In its official blog, Instagram explained that the third-party fact-checker program will be expanded out of the US for organisations around the world to assess and rate misinformation. 

To combat the misinformation on the Facebook-owned social media platform, Instagram is expanding its fact-checking program globally.

In its official blog, Instagram explained that the third-party fact-checker program will be expanded out of the US for organisations around the world to assess and rate misinformation. 

"In May of this year, we began working with third-party fact-checkers in the US to help identify, review, and label false information. These partners independently assess false information to help us catch it and reduce its distribution," the company stated on its blog post.

Instagram will reduce the distribution of content which is rated as false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker and label it with a link to the rating and articles from credible sources that debunk the claims made in the post.

"When these labels are applied, they will appear to everyone around the world viewing that content – in feed, profile, stories, and direct messages, " the company said.

"We use image-matching technology to find further instances of this content and apply the label, helping reduce the spread of misinformation."

If the content is labelled false on Instagram, Facebook will also reflect the label and vice-versa. 

To determine which content should be sent to fact-checkers for review, the company "uses a combination of feedback from our community and technology."

In August, Instagram added a "False Information" feedback option for users to report posts they think are false.

"Today's expansion is an important step in our ongoing efforts to fight misinformation on Instagram," the popular photo-sharing website said.

Facebook started using image-detection on Instagram in May to find content debunked on its flagship app and also expanded its third-party fact-checking program to the app.

Results rated as false are removed from places where users seek out new content, like Instagram's Explore tab and hashtag search results.

Instagram has largely been spared the scrutiny associated with its parent company, which is in the crosshairs of regulators over alleged Russian attempts to spread misinformation around the 2016 US presidential election.

But an independent report commissioned by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that it was "perhaps the most effective platform" for Russian actors trying to spread false information since the election.

(With inputs from agencies)