FaceBook’s Instagram is taking steps against photoshopped imagery, maybe an effort to battle fake news.
Discovered by San Francisco-based photographer Toby Harriman, the latest feature will add a black “False Information” warning on images deemed to be altered. Users, however, still have the choice to view the actual image, as well as read up on why the photo was hidden in the first place.
Harrison also came across a picture which got hidden on his feed, it was only a photo of a man standing on rainbow-colored mountains. “Looks like Instagram x Facebook will start tagging false photos/digital art,” the photographer wrote in a Facebook post.
According to Instagram, the app determines the authenticity of an image using “a combination of feedback from our community and technology.” The photo is then passed on to third-party independent fact-checkers. If the image is deemed fake, the “False Information” warning message will be placed on the image. These “fake” photos will also be removed from Instagram’s Explore and Hashtag pages and will be automatically flagged in future posts.
Yes it can be a battle against misinformation but can also be restriction towards digital art. This move stems from heavy criticism against Facebook as purveyors of fake news during the United States’ 2016 Presidential campaign. Reports claim that Mark Zuckerberg’s failure to clamp down on fake news provided a platform for outlets — regardless of their political stance — to reach an audience.
Despite the backlash, however, the Facebook founder announced in late 2019 that the social media giant will not fact-check political ads due to free speech. “We don’t fact-check political ads. We don’t do this to help politicians, but because we think people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying.