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Instagram begins letting users report misinformation

Instagram on Thursday added a way for users to easily report deceptive posts at the photo and video-oriented social network owned by Facebook.

A new tool being rolled out out lets Instagram users tap a “report” option on-screen when they see a post they deem dubious, then tap a “false information” tag to prompt review by third-party fact-checkers, according to Facebook spokeswoman Stephanie Otway.

The option was expected to be available to all Instagram users by the end of this month.

Such prompts will be one of several “signals” used to determine whether content should be scrutinized by fact-checkers, who will determine their veracity.

“Starting today, people can let us know if they see posts on Instagram they believe may be false,” Otway said.

“We’re investing heavily in limiting the spread of misinformation across our apps, and we plan to share more updates in the coming months.”

The world’s biggest social network has been cracking down on fraudulent influence campaigns and bogus posts as pressure has mounted for online platforms to defend against efforts to manipulate online conversations.

User-reported Instagram posts found to be bogus but not in violation of the service’s policies will not be deleted, but won’t appear when users use “explore” or hashtag searches to discover content.

“Explore and hashtags allow people on Instagram to find content they haven’t already chosen to follow, and by filtering misinformation from these places, we can significantly limit its reach,” Otway said.

Feedback from the new tool will be used to train artificial intelligence software to scan for, and rate, fake posts without waiting for them to be reported, according to Facebook.

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