In late 2016, Facebook launched a fact-checking program designed to cut down on the amount of false information spread through its primary social network. The company currently has 52 fact-checking partners throughout more than 30 countries, and they’ll soon turn their focus to Instagram, where an increasing number of false information is spread in the form of memes and photos.
The fact-checking system on Facebook involves partners reviewing content, including links, images, and videos, and rating them as false when applicable. If a user tries to share content that has been rated ‘false,’ they’ll see a warning about its status, and the content’s reach in the News Feed will be decreased to reduce the spread.
This fact-checking system is about to roll out on Instagram, according to Poynter, which offers the International Fact-Checking Network code of principles that Facebook’s fact-checking partners must be a signatory on. The program’s expansion to Instagram is described as a test at this time.
Under the test, reviewers will rate applicable memes and other images as false on the platform, enabling users to make better choices when choosing which content they share while also reducing the reach of these images. When one particular false image — a meme, perhaps — is found and rated, Instagram will utilize image recognition tech to find other duplicate images and automatically apply the same actions to them.
In this case, Instagram plans to remove the false content from the platform’s hashtag results pages and the Explore tab. Though the content remains live on the platform, it will be difficult for users to find it, suppressing its spread across the platform. Some Instagram users will also start seeing educational message tests that appear when the user searches for content associated with certain topics, such as anti-vaccination materials.