Instagram has launched a new feature that would allow users to easily report deceptive posts at the Facebook-owned social network.
3PFC On Instagram
Facebook announced that it is expanding its Third-Party Fact-Checking Program (3PFC) to the photo and video-sharing social network that it purchased seven years ago.
The new tool, which was launched on Thursday, Aug. 15, is already rolled out for users in the United States. It is expected to be available to all Instagram users by the end of the month.
Facebook spokesperson Stephanie Otway said that the new tool will let Instagram users click on a "report" option on the screen when they see a suspicious post on Instagram. Certified fact-checkers will then review the reported false content to confirm the accuracy of the report.
To report suspicious content, users will have to click on the three dots found in the upper right corner of the Instagram post, tap on "it's inappropriate" and then "false information."
The posts will then be reviewed by verified signatories of the International Fact-Checking Network's Code of Principles. Otway, however, said that only U.S.-based fact-checkers will be verifying Instagram posts at the moment.
The reported posts verified as false by the fact-checkers will not be deleted, but they will no longer be visible on "explore" and "hashtag" pages.
"Starting today, people can let us know if they see posts on Instagram they believe may be false," Otway said.
"We're investing heavily in limiting the spread of misinformation across our apps, and we plan to share more updates in the coming months."
Different From Facebook's Third-Party Fact-Checking Program
The feature does have some differences with that of the Third-Party Fact-Checking Program inside Facebook's News Feed. On Instagram, people who reported the content will not be notified of the verification process, not the conclusion of the fact-checker.
The University of Wisconsin Journalism and Mass Communication associate professor Lucas Graves said that Instagram has a unique environment with its flavors of fake content.
"Almost certainly a lot of fine-tuning (in 3PFC) will be needed down the road," he said. "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."