In a bid to combat fake news, Instagram recently introduced a feature that flagged fake photos. Now it appears that the new feature is flagging photoshopped images indiscriminately. This has worried photographers who are finding it hard to share their photography.
Toby Harriman, a San Francisco based photographer describes his ordeal with Instagram. Apparently, the “False Information” notification popped up. This was the first time any of his pictures were flagged. Harriman goes on to reveal that the flagged photograph was of a man standing on rainbow-colored mountains.
Instagram reveals that it is using image-matching technology and curb the menace of misinformation and fake news. In other words, Instagram (and Facebook) is now capable of flagging content that it feels is fake. Meanwhile, the feature will link it to the rating from fact-checker and offer alternative credible source. Furthermore, the accounts that get these warnings will be punished by removing them from the hashtag and explore page.
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.- Instagram
The issue with fact-checker exposes two sides of a problem. Fake news and misinformation is unquestionably the worst thing happening on social media platforms. Elections are being swung and unrest is created in violence-prone areas. So fact-checkers are the need of the hour.
Photographers and digital artists often use Instagram as a platform to gain recognition for their work. Needless to say, the majority of art involves post-processing in one form or the other. It is not fair if the photos are flagged as fake. We hope Instagram fine-tunes the algorithm and ensures that photographers and artists are not adversely affected.