Last December, Facebook-owned Instagram introduced a new feature that would warn users about posts potentially containing false information in order to combat misinformation and reduce the amount of fake content. Back in May, Instagram started working with third-party checkers that identified, reviewed, and labelled false information.
However, the feature has some unpleasant and confusing drawbacks. A San Francisco-based photographer Toby Harriman was the first to discover that his post was labeled for “False Information.” He was scrolling through Instagram pics and noticed that his photo of a man standing in front of colored (using photo editors, of course) hills was flagged, and the message read, “Independent fact-checkers say this is false.” It was also removed from Explore and Hashtag pages. Hence, it was naturally assumed that the social media giant was taking down images altered or manipulated using Photoshop as well as digital art in general.
In response to this, a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement: “We don’t hide content because it’s photoshopped, we apply a label when a fact-checker has rated it. Upon review from the fact checker, they changed the rating, so it is no longer being labelled as false on Instagram and Facebook.”
Instagram said in a message posted on the company’s newsroom:
To determine which content should be sent to fact-checkers for review, we use a combination of feedback from our community and technology. Earlier this year, we added a “False Information” feedback option, and these reports, along with other signals, help us to better identify and take action on potentially false information.
Therefore, photographers and artists don’t need to worry about Instagram labelling their works as false because this feature only targets those that fact-checking websites identified as false.