Facebook expands fact-checking to Instagram in bid to crack down on anti-vaxxers and other misinformation

Instagram is taking new steps to curb the spread of misinformation. 

The social media platform will use Facebook‘s fact-checking processes to demote false photos and memes that are shared on Instagram, according to . 

It comes as Instagram has faced increasing pressure to in conspiracy theories, hateful rhetoric and false news that has gone largely unchecked on the platform. 

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‘Our approach to misinformation is the same as Facebook‘s – when we find misinfo, rather than remove it, we‘ll reduce its distribution,‘ Instagram spokesperson Stephanie Otway told Poynter. 

‘We can use image recognition technology to find the same piece of content on Instagram and take automatic action.‘  

This will involve demoting posts from the Explore tab and hashtag pages, Poynter added. 

Instagram has been reportedly working with Facebook‘s News Feed Integrity team on these efforts since the U.S. midterm elections. 

When an image is flagged, it‘ll be sent to the same dashboard that Facebook‘s fact-checking groups view to pick up on misinformation, enabling them to quickly demote posts that fall within this category.  

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The company may even take things further and display pop-ups for people who search for anti-vaccine content, according to Poynter. 

It comes as Facebook last week took steps to further reduce hateful rhetoric on its site by banning several top far-right and anti-Semitic figures from its site. 

Prior to that, Facebook announced it was banning white nationalist and separatist content from its platform. 

Similar to how Instagram is tackling misinformation, Facebook said it would begin displaying a popup directing users to a website that helps users leave hate groups whenever they search for white nationalism, white separatism or white supremacist content. 

In April, Facebook unveiled a sweeping new set of policies around tackling misinformation. 

The plan, titled ‘remove, reduce and inform,‘ addresses one of the major criticisms against Facebook concerning the continued presence of harassment, hate speech and false content on its site. 

HOW IS FACEBOOK TACKLING FALSE INFORMATION? 

As part of a sweeping new plan, titled ‘remove, reduce and inform,‘ Facebook is launching its toughest measures yet to tackle misinformation. 

Among the changes are: 

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