Popular photo sharing app Instagram has announced that it is expanding its fact checking to outside the USA. The company will now verify posts from across the globe after enlisting the help of over 45 third party organisations in its bid to tackle fake news and misinformation.
Flagged posts will be obscured and labelled False Information. As expected, just like its parent company Facebook, Instagram says it won’t fact check original content by politicians. Now you know all animals are not equal, that’s if you didn’t. The company will then remove the post from the public-facing areas of the app and hashtag pages so that they are not directly found.
Pundits aver that Instagram is late in rolling out its fact checking programme which comes three years after Facebook’s. The photo sharing app’s efforts were launched only in May 2019 and were limited to the USA. It is also notable that the mechanism of obscuring misinformation and false content is not as tough as Facebook which down-ranks pages and posts.
The result is that people who choose to follow accounts that routinely share misinformation, like pages dedicated to anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, will still see those posts prominently in their feeds (albeit with some “False Information” labels)~ Mashable
Facebook targets links, posts, images and videos in its effort to fight fake news. Quite a tall order as activists say it is not doing enough. Facebook’s CEO has previously called on governments to help in this fight, which Instagram’s CEO admits his company is playing catch up even though the same team that rolled out the programme at Facebook is the same one doing so at Instagram.
Instagram has been accused by the IRA of being the most effective tool to spread misinformation following investigations into the USA’s 2016 general elections interference.