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Instagram says will fight misinformation with fact-check allies

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Instagram on Monday went global in its fight against misinformation, making alliances with fact-checkers around the world to expose deception in shared photos or videos.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Instagram on Monday went global in its fight against misinformation, making alliances with fact-checkers around the world to expose deception in shared photos or videos.

The Facebook-owned social platform launched a fact-checking programme in the US early this year.

"Today's expansion is an important step in our ongoing efforts to fight misinformation on Instagram," the service said in an online post.

"Photo and video based misinformation is increasingly a challenge across our industry, and something our teams have been focused on addressing."

Instagram began working with third-party allies in the US to help identify, review and label bogus posts.

Content deemed to be false is ignored by Instagram's search or recommendation tools and is shown with a warning label if users come across it.

"When content has been rated as false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker, we reduce its distribution," Instagram said.

"In addition, it will be labeled so people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust and share."

Once a post is found to be deceptive, software searches for it across Instagram's platform to brand it accordingly.

"We use image matching technology to find further instances of this content and apply the label, helping reduce the spread of misinformation," Instagram said.

"In addition, if something is rated false or partly false on Facebook, starting today we'll automatically label identical content if it is posted on Instagram (and vice versa)."

Instagram will also expand an anti-bullying feature developed earlier this year.

Artificial intelligence software will scan captions and comments as people write them and will notify users if their comments could be considered offensive.

"We've found that these types of nudges can encourage people to reconsider their words," Instagram said.

Facebook already uses third-party fact-checkers in more than a dozen countries, according to its website.

Posts reviewed by Facebook fact-checking teams include content flagged by users, as well as material tagged by software that is continually being refined by the California-based media giant.

AFP