Art & Life

The Instagram update: Cause for concern?

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Graphic by Amanda Bollig.

Recently, Instagram has added a new update that comes with quite an interesting twist, any post a user makes can be fact-checked, to “reduce the spread of false news,” according to the Facebook help center. 

The most important question to ask would be how a fact-checker is decided and made official. In short, it’s never really explained other than that it is international, and that fact-checkers can go through disputes with special cases such as satire.  

Following links provided from the official Instagram application, led to an article by Facebook Product Manager Tessa Lyons  called “Hard Questions: How is Facebook’s Fact-Checking Program Working?”

 One of the biggest limits Lyons described in this article were the limits on press, freedom and varying standards of journalism from country to country.  

Machine learning is a term used to describe actions being taken in response to a post by using a constantly-learning artificial intelligence algorithm implemented into a social media platform.  

 Instagram user from England Luke Rudge is a college student in acting but in his spare time he uses social media such as Instagram and Discord to contact his friends. 

In an interview with Rudge he gave his view as a non-American and how issues like this seem to be centered on subjects perceived as American values such as freedom of speech. 

Q: Has your country dealt with issues of censorship recently such as Article 13, which is happening within the EU.  

A: Recently, it was people getting a copyright strike on Youtube. If they play a second of a video, their whole video will get a strike. You have people getting all the money from copyright holders and stealing all the money from content creators like “Count Dankula” who has made a lot of videos about that. It hasn’t been a big issue otherwise. Article 13 is basically a massive filter in the internet and goes against freedom of speech. 

Q: Do you think that these types of implementations in social media platforms will ever go “too far” in the future? 

A: Definitely. In the future, if this carries on, we will not have any freedom of speech. You know China, it is ridiculous! 

You know that big army truck that was coming that people were posting? The Chinese Government put a filter on it and were deleting this picture of these trucks. It was on an actual story that I saw from a good friend of mine.

 We could end up in that situation if companies keep deciding what to show and not show. However, I think as the company (Facebook) develops and the people get angry I think they are going to change some of that stuff. 

Image courtesy of Amanda Bollig

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