Earlier this week Instagram announced it will take fact-checking more seriously and remove or reduce the visibility of posts that include misinformation. However, if a post does get removed for misinformation, or any other kind of violation of Instagram terms and conditions, users have now the opportunity to appeal that decision.
A new app interface that is being rolled out starting today will let you get your post reviewed by a second moderator. If they disagree with the original moderator’s decision your post will be reinstated into your profile.
The company also says it will begin blocking vaccine-related hashtag pages when those pages contain a proportion of verifiably false content above a certain threshold. If false information is posted but remains under the threshold, Instagram will reduce visibility by not showing recent posts. The company says now that health agencies like the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization have confirmed that vaccines do not cause autism in children it is comfortable taking these measures.
Instagram is using the vaccine subject to test this approach. If it is successful the methodology might be applied to other problem topics in the future. The automated system scans new posts and checks them against problematic elements of posts that have previously been banned. Optical character recognition is used to find text in images and the company is working on the same function for video content.
If the system is confident it has identified a violation, the offending post is removed and counted as a strike against any hashtag included. If a hashtag reaches a certain proportion of violating content it will be blocked.