Fact-Checking Comes To Instagram

Facebook has owned Instagram for seven years and is now expanding its 3rd party fact checker to Instagram. 
“The potential to prevent harm is high here, particularly with the widespread existence of health misinformation on the platform,” Facebook fact-checking partner Full Fact said in a recent Report. 
 
“Since starting work with Facebook on the Third Party Fact Checking programme in January, the first three months were Full Fact’s familiarisation period. The following three months were focused on trying to expand our coverage in specific areas that we identified as important, notably health information.” 
 
The report finds that Facebook’s Third Party Fact Checking programme is worthwhile in helping to counter misinformation online, and includes work of clear social value. We are encouraged by some signs that Facebook is continuing to improve the initiative, but further development is needed.
 
The report sets out 10 recommendations for Facebook on actions to be taken to improve the programme. It calls for Facebook to share more data with fact checkers to better evaluate impact; to develop its tools to better identify potentially harmful false content; and for the programme to be expanded to other platforms. 
 
It also calls on the US government to review responsibilities for providing authoritative public information on topics where harm may result from inaccurate information, in particular in areas such as public health and the law.
 
This is Full Fact's first report, covering the first half of 2019 in which it lays out a list of protection standards: 
 
• Facebook has no control over what is checked and what rating they give.
• Once a fact check happens, it is automatically uploaded to the platform. No Facebook staff member sees it before it goes live.
• All fact checks under this project are on on Full Fact’s website and they will evaluate the project continually.
• The project has been designed to protect free expression. It gives people more information about the accuracy of an article, image or video, but doesn’t stop anyone sharing anything they want to.
 
Major Incident procedure 
“One of the areas where we believe the Third Party Fact Checking programme can play a useful role is in responding quickly to emergency situations where rumours and inaccurate information may be spreading online, for example after terrorist attacks or during natural disasters. In these situations, the risk of harm from misleading information can be very high.” 
 
FullFact:         NiemanLab
 
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