Reported! Instagram to roll out special button letting users flag ‘fake posts’

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Fresh after the memes purge, Instagram is getting more ‘alert’ to ‘fake content’ urging users report it with a touch of a button. Experienced ‘fact-checkers’ of its parent company Facebook will take it from there.

The company is rolling out the option first in the US, and then worldwide by the end of August.

“I’m proud that, starting today, people can let us know if they see posts on Instagram they believe may be false,” Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri tweeted, adding “Misinformation is an issue I’ve personally spent a lot of time on.”

Though Instagram already has features in place allowing users to report posts, the new button will add the ability to flag content for “false information.” The website’s reporting options were previously limited to “nudity or pornography,”“hate speech or symbols,”“it’s spam,” and “I just don’t like it,” offering advice to users on how to proceed under each circumstance.

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The new reporting tool, once used, will trigger a review of the post in question by a team of “certified fact checkers,” who will “analyze its veracity,” according to a report at Posts found to be factually dubious will not be scrubbed from the platform altogether, however, but simply diverted away from the site’s “explore” and “hashtag” pages, where users can find trending content, Instagram spokesperson Stephanie Otway told Poynter.

Mosseri also suggested the new button was only a first step, and that there would be “more to come” in its effort to combat misinformation.

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The launch of the new feature follows a mass purge on the platform late last month, in which scores of popular comedy and meme pages were simultaneously scrubbed. Instagram explained that the accounts were “not following our terms,” and added the deleted pages would be impossible to restore.

Facebook started its fact checking initiative in December 2016 alongside five media organizations. Since last year, Facebook has bolstered its efforts by partnering with dozens of additional websites – some 52 sites spread across in 33 countries – who work in teams to review content on the platform. Instagram will utilize the same fact-checking network.

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