Aug 15, 2019 - Technology

Instagram adds tools for users to flag misinformation

Instagram logo. Photo: Alvin Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Instagram is adding new tools for users to be able to report when they see something false posted, according to a company spokesperson.

Why it matters: These updates are a part of a bigger investment by Instagram to reduce the spread of misinformation on the platform, which is reportedly a hotbed for conspiracy theories and fake news, ahead of upcoming elections.

Details: Instagram will begin rolling out the option to report false posts on the platform to all users by the end of the month.

  • The company will leverage that feedback, along with other signals — like the previous behaviors of the account that posted the content — to determine whether a third-party fact checker should then review the questionable content.

Instagram recently debuted a pilot program in the U.S. that allows fact-checkers to rate content on Instagram, according to Stephanie Otway, a Facebook company spokesperson.

  • "This allows us to address Instagram-specific misinformation, in addition to content rated false on Facebook, which we also limit on Instagram," Otway says.
  • Instagram says it will also use the feedback to better train its artificial intelligence technology to proactively find and rate misinformation.

What's next: Otway says that when the company finds misinformation on Instagram, it will filter it out of places where people can discover new content on the platform.

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