As the United States and India prepare for two major elections next year, Threads is taking a proactive stance against misinformation by introducing a fact-checking program on their social network. According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, the platform currently matches fact-check ratings from Facebook and Instagram to similar content, but by next year, fact-checkers will have the tools to review and rate posts directly on Threads.
“We currently match fact-check ratings from Facebook or Instagram to Threads, but our goal is for fact-checking partners to have the ability to review and rate misinformation on the app,” Mosseri stated in a recent blog post.
In a separate blog post, Meta also shared their plans to allow U.S.-based Threads users to control the level of demotion on fact-checked posts, giving them the option to increase, decrease, or maintain the same level as on Instagram. The company also assured that if users had previously applied settings on Instagram to filter out sensitive content, those settings would carry over to Threads.
While Meta and Threads have not placed a strong emphasis on news content on their platform, it is crucial for them to keep misinformation in check, especially during election time. Mosseri addressed this issue in October, stating that while Threads is not “anti-news,” they do not want to amplify news on the platform.
It is important to note that Threads still blocks search for keywords related to COVID-19, such as “covid” and “covid-19,” which was first reported by the Washington Post in September.
With the addition of new features such as tags (without the hash symbol) and trending topics (yet to be rolled out), users will have more ways to search for and share information on the platform. However, Meta has experienced backlash in the past due to the spread of misinformation on their platform, leading them to take precautions to avoid any future mishaps.
However, without further details on the program, questions remain around the labeling of misleading posts and methods for displaying accurate and contextual information. And while Threads has previously steered clear of news content, their involvement in fact-checking programs may require them to become more involved. Only time will tell how successful this initiative will be in combatting misinformation on the Threads platform.