Instagram Will Allow Users to Report Fake Posts

The app is trying to fix its fake content problem

Instagram is ramping up its fight against fake information
By Kayla Kibbe / August 16, 2019 10:00 am

As the fight against online misinformation continues, Instagram is rolling out a new feature that will allow users to report posts they suspect are fake.

The new feature was announced Thursday,  and will be available to Instagram users in the U.S., Reuters reported. Users will be able to flag suspicious posts, which will subsequently be removed from Instagram’s explore page and will not be displayed in hashtag search results.

The feature is the Facebook-owned app’s latest endeavor to halt the spread of misinformation on the platform. Back in May, Instagram launched a tool that uses image-blocking technology to identify and reduce the reach of content that had already been flagged as suspicious on Facebook.

Facebook company spokeswoman Stephanie Otway called Instagram’s new flagging tool “an initial step as we work toward a more comprehensive approach to tackling misinformation.”

Social media platforms have attracted much scrutiny in recent years for allowing the spread of false information. While Facebook has long borne the brunt of the criticism, a report commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee found that more engagement on Instagram than Facebook was linked to Russian actors around the time of the 2016 elections, meaning fake Instagram activity may have had more of an impact than false content on Facebook.

While Instagram may actually have a bigger misinformation problem, Facebook’s efforts to attack the spread of false information have been more widespread than those of the photo-sharing app. Facebook reportedly has 54 fact-checking partners working in 42 languages to fight fake content. Last year, Facebook’s fact-checking system effectively removed more than 500 pages spreading false content.

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