In an internet-wide effort to reduce the spread of fake news and information, Instagram is the latest platform introducing new measures. A new feature will automatically flag any posts that are considered to be suspicious, sending them to independent fact-checkers to assess.
The new venture will extend to include marking any content that has been shared to Instagram via Facebook, and vice versa; perhaps unsurprising, given the former is owned by the latter.
Similarly to how Instagram currently polices potentially sensitive images within private messages, a “false information” overlay will appear over the top of the post, with the post itself blurred. What’s more, anyone attempting to share the image will receive a message warning them that they are sharing false information. The new rules will work both through help from the app’s users, and an automated system.
For the example post featured within their announcement, Instagram has used one of the most notorious hoax photos available on the net – that of a shark that was alleged to have washed up on a highway during Hurricane Harvey, before it was proved to be fake.
Users also run the risk of a ban from the Explore page, as well as in hashtags feeds, if they repeatedly break the rule regarding false information.