Instagram tackles misinformation with new flagging tool

Instagram is adding a new feature that gives its users the option to flag posts containing false information. The company announced the new tool’s release last Thursday as the photo-sharing app addresses problematic issues stemming from its platform.

Instagram’s parent company Facebook has not moved to ban fallacious information from its social media brands. However, the social media giant is taking the necessary measures to curb the spread of misinformation and warn users against it.

Back in May, the social network company rolled out an image-detection program on Instagram to identify discredited content on its flagship app. Facebook has also brought its third-party fact-checking program to the popular platform.

Content identified as false is taken down from pages that show users new content. This includes the explore tag and search results. Facebook itself has 54 third-party fact-checkers that work across 42 languages. The company has only started to release this feature in the United States for Instagram.

Stephani Otway, a spokeswoman for Facebook says, “This is an initial step as we work toward a more comprehensive approach to tackling misinformation.”
While Facebook was heavily scrutinized during the 2016 U.S. presidential election over Russians attempted to use the platform to spread misinformation, Instagram hasn’t been receiving the same.

However, the states’ Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released an independently commissioned report that showed Instagram “as the most effective platform” that Russians could use to spread malicious information during election season.
New Knowledge researchers found that engagement on Instagram was higher compared to Facebook which would explain why Russia would shift its attention to the photo-sharing app.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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