Although Instagram was never entirely immune to fake news, misinformation, and the like, the platform did enjoy a long period of relative purity.
In recent years, however, what was mostly a kaleidoscope of selfies and filtered sunsets has given way to the same cyber-abuse that have long plagued Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
As a result, its parent company is now rushing to preserve the integrity of Instagram’s content.
Along with its own platform, Facebook recently banned a number of extreme voices from Instagram, including Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Louis Farrakhan.
Now, Facebook plans to begin subjecting content shared on Instagram to the same level of scrutiny as that shared on its flagship platform.
First reported by Poynter, that includes a fact-checking process designed to demote the content shared and otherwise spread by bad actors.
Facebook has had a similar system in place since 2016, and now feels the need to include Instagram in the initiative.
That initiative includes partner sites that specialize in fact-checking (including Poynter), along with an army of human fact checkers who are assisted by a complex network of artificial intelligence and the prompts of users who flag content as inappropriate or offensive.
Officially, Facebook is calling the expansion of its fact-checking initiative just a “test,” but it has recently become clear that Instagram is in need of some serious monitoring.
Along with Facebook, foreign-born misinformation campaigns now regularly target Instagram.
Among Instagram users, 15% say they have encountered some type of inappropriate content on the network, according to AdColony.Although that’s far less than the 60% of users who say they have encountered inappropriate content on Facebook, the findings show Instagram is not as innocuous as it once was.