Fake news enablers, be warned. Instagram is coming after you; unless of course you’re a politician

Instagram announced it's tightening its fight against misinformation and fake news by hiding such content from users , except "if it's from a politician".

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One of the world’s largest social media networks is expanding its third-party fact-checking network around the world.

The move comes fours year after the network’s mother company Facebook began its own version of the program in December 2016, before officially launching it early this year

“Today’s expansion is an important step in our ongoing efforts to fight misinformation on Instagram,” it said in an online post on Monday.

“Photo and video based misinformation is increasingly a challenge across our industry, and something our teams have been focused on addressing.”

Online news networks have in recent years come under intense pressure globally, including South Africa for allowing misinformation to spread.

Following in Facebook’s footsteps, Instagram will now work with 45 third-party organisations such as Agence France-Presse to help identify, review and label misleading posts.

AFP currently works with Facebook’s fact-checking program in almost 30 countries and nine languages.

Around 60 media, including news organisations and specialised independent fact-checkers, work in almost 30 countries worldwide on the Facebook program.

Under the program, content rated “false” by fact-checkers is filtered from Explore and hashtags so that not too many people get to see it. 

Accordingly, if someone tries to share a post found to be misleading or false, Facebook or Instagram will present them with the fact-checked article.

In light of recent findings by Pew Research Center that people (23% of Americans) share fake news at any given time, and even when they can tell it’s not true, no post gets removed from the account should that be the case.

However users can “tap to see why the post has been identified as false” the IG post further says or “tap see post to view” nonetheless.

Fact-checkers are free to choose how and what they wish to investigate. Please note “the original content of politicians is not sent to third-party fact checkers for review,” IG further warns.

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