An announcement made by Instagram recently stated that they are officially moving forward on their battle to tackle the spread of misinformation on their social platform. They said they would use the fact-checking services of third party individuals.
This move will put the platform in line with its parent company, as Instagram is a Facebook subsidiary. As a result, the media giant will begin adopting some of the same practices that Facebook announced and has already started putting into place on that social site in June of 2018.
Right after the announcement, the third-party fact-checkers got to work on cleaning up the social media site. Instagram intends to continue using the program they already had in place, along with the collaboration with the chosen external organization, to search out and mark any content found as false or misleading.
The mark will be made visible to all Instagram users, and they will have a choice to either heed the mark or continue to interact with the content. As Facebook and Instagram are subsidiaries of one another, anything marked as false on one platform will also show as marked false on the other.
It is also worth mentioning that users of both of the platforms will be provided links by the fact-checker, showing reputable sources referenced for marking the content.
The recent move for third-party collaboration comes as Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has been under fire for allowing fake and what some consider dangerous reports and information to go unchecked on their site.
Facebook has followed a hand’s off policy on the way that organizations that advertised on their website used the data they collected. As a result, the site has continued to be vexed by a flood of posts that purported in posting incorrect and misleading information.
Facebook isn’t the only social media that is dealing with issues of this type. Most sites allow individuals or businesses, that pay for ad space, to post and organize pretty much as they please.
Although Instagram should be applauded for the steps they are taking to make sure any future news items posted on their site are accurate, there is the possibility that if these efforts are in fact insufficient and misguided, the results could prove to be much more harmful than good in the long run.
The good news is that in most cases, fake news is pretty easy to spot. Even so, it makes one wonder why such measures weren’t put into place in the first place, rather than waiting.
Could it be that Facebook and Instagram waited to implement measures when they absolutely had to?