Instagram rolls out new measures to combat ‘fake news’

Instagram rolls out new measures to combat ‘fake news’

Instagram is adding three new tools to prevent the spread of misinformation on the platform.

“We’ve been focused on the safety of our platform since the very beginning, and today’s updates build upon our existing tools, such as our spam and abusive content filters and the ability to report or block accounts," Instagram co-founder and chief technology officer Mike Krieger said in a press release on Tuesday.

"We know we have more work to do to keep bad actors off Instagram, and we are committed to continuing to build more tools to do just that."

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One of the tools is an “About this Account” feature, which will allow users to see more information about accounts with large followings. That information includes the date the account joined Instagram, the country where the account is located, accounts with shared followers and any ads the account is running. It is unclear how many followers an account needs to have to qualify for this feature.

A second feature will be a verification badge similar to the blue checkmark used by Twitter. Accounts with large followings can request such verification, and Instagram will decide whether to grant the badge to an account, taking into account any legal or business affiliations.

Third, Instagram will start allowing people to log in using third-party authenticator apps, adding an extra layer of security. 

The changes come as Instagram's parent company, Facebook, and other companies face criticism for not doing more to prevent the spread of fake news stories and foreign influence campaigns in the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook is also taking new steps to protect user privacy and eliminate the spread of misinformation on the platform, including improving transparency about ads and fact-checking efforts.