Facebook Expands Its Third-Party Fact-Checking Program to Instagram


Facebook is expanding its third-party fact-checking program (3PFC) to Instagram so now you can report a suspicious post and certified fact-checkers will analyze its authenticity. The fact-checking will be done by a group of verified signatories to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles (IFCN).

How it will work

Instagram users will have to click on the three dots on the upper right corner of the Instagram post and select inappropriate and then choose false information. These posts will then be reviewed by IFCN members who are already working with 3PFC present in more than 30 countries.

Posts on Instagram get popular by way of multiple hashtags and the giant photo-sharing platform will instead of deleting the suspicious posts, downplay them on the explore page and the hashtags page – these are places where users seek out new content.

The person who posts reported content will not be notified about the verification process and also the fact-checkers conclusion at the end of it.

Instagram wants to stop relying on the community for reporting misinformation by getting as many signals as possible form humans to power its artificial intelligence.

According to Instagram spokesperson Stephanie Otway, once a Facebook post is rated as false, fact-checkers will only need to hit an extra button to have it also rated false on Instagram and vice versa.

Fact-checkers want more transparency

According to Poynter, fact-checkers are welcoming this new initiative by Instagram but they are also sharing their concerns.

“We know that images — memes, altered videos and photos, videos and photos without context — are very popular vectors of misinformation,” said Tai Nalon, executive director and co-founder of Aos Fatos in Brazil.

However, she doesn’t like that Instagram hasn’t planned to inform users when their Instagram posts are reported as false.

“We have been reiterating to Facebook that the most important thing about flagging fake or distorted content is to make it clear why it happened,” she adds.

“Almost certainly a lot of fine-tuning (in 3PFC) will be needed down the road. This is a chance for Facebook to be more transparent than it has been about the implementation and effectiveness of these efforts, and about what role it envisions for its fact-checking partners in the long term,” said Lucas Graves, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin.

“Recognizing that everybody makes mistakes and offering them the chance to responsibly make a correction is very important. By not telling people, by not giving the opportunity to correct a post, Facebook and Instagram weaken the program and we all move to a situation where platforms control what is being said. It is important to act openly,” said Will Moy, chief executive at Full Fact in the U.K. Full Fact was the one who suggested 3PFC expand to Instagram.

Will added that including pieces of content extracted from Inatgarm to the list of items to be verified could have a great impact on editorial choices and on his team’s routine.

The rollout

Stephanie Otway said that only US-based fact-checkers will be verifying Instagram posts at the moment. It will take 2 weeks to reach all international users.

Facebook currently has 54 fact-checking partners in 42 languages. They recently added 10 new languages in Africa.

Keep up with everything Instagram here.

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George Kamau
I brunch on consumer tech | first.last at techweez dot com


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