To tackle the rise of fake news and misinformation on its platform Instagram has opened up its third-party fact-checker program beyond the United States.
According to a new report from TechCrunch, the social network’s 45 third-party fact-checkers will independently assess and rate false information on Instagram in order to help detect it and reduce its distribution.
Instagram will use image matching technology to find additional copies of false content and apply the same label, and do this across Facebook and Instagram content. That could become a talking point for Facebook as it tries to dissuade regulators from breaking up the company and spinning off Instagram. On the other hand, it’s a valuable economy of scale for protecting the internet. Breaking up Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp might lead to worse enforcement through fragmented resources, though it could lead the apps to compete for the best moderation.
The label will show a link to why the fact-checkers say it is false information and Facebook said it will make content from repeat offenders “harder to find by removing it from Explore and hashtag pages.”
Instagram said in a blog post that content rated as false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker will be removed from its Explore tab and hashtag pages in order to reduce its distribution, and it will be labeled in order to enable people to better decide for themselves what to read, trust and share.
“Photo- and video-based misinformation is increasingly a challenge across our industry,” Instagram said. “And something our teams have been focused on addressing.”
Facebook has been engaged in a fight against false information ever since the problem was recognized as widespread during and after the 2016 election.