Instagram to begin fact-checking posts

Josh Hall's picture

Instagram is set to start fact-checking posts on its platform in a bid to combat ‘fake news’.

The app will use the same fact-checking partners engaged by its owner Facebook, with a team of 52 such organisations assessing images and memes that are reported as being untrustworthy.

Posts that are found to be inaccurate or misleading will be removed from the Explore tab and from the results pages for relevant hashtags, which Instagram says will make it more difficult for users to find them.

In an interview with journalism body Poynter, Instagram spokeswoman Stephanie Otway said the platform will also use automated processes to target duplicate posts of false content.

She said: “Our approach to misinformation is the same as Facebook’s – when we find misinfo, rather than remove it, we’ll reduce its distribution.

“We can use image recognition technology to find the same piece of content on Instagram and take automatic action.”

The move follows anti-fake news efforts from Facebook, launched in the wake of the 2016 election.

Facebook now has fact-checking partners operating in 33 countries worldwide, having quadrupled the number of individual partners in the last year.

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