In 2019, Instagram released a feature that filtered out comments and flagged them for being inappropriate. Through applying AI-powered features, the platform can alert users when their caption looks similar to previous posts that have been reported due to words that have been adopted.
This year, following in Facebook's footsteps, Instagram has published a feature that is able to flag photoshopped images. AI-powered features have allowed this to happen and works by using fact-checkers that have been employed in the past to scan for any sign of misinformation.
Once a post has been flagged for being ‘fake’, the image is hidden by a warning message reading“False Information”. With this being said,, all you have to do to view the photo is tap“See Post”and it will be revealed. The feature has been put in place to warn consumers that the image about to be uncovered has been manipulated in some way. In addition to being hidden, flagged images will not be posted on Explore or hashtag pages.
This new feature could be detrimental to digital artists, designers and photographers as well as impacting some influencers. Many digital artists' images are edited through Photoshop and are at risk of being flagged by Instagram and hiding them behind the warning message. If an account gets flagged regularly, it could be banned for spreading ‘false information’. Digital art that has already been flagged includes a landscape image with multicoloured mountains (pictured below).
The original artist of this post,Ramzy, has the title of ‘Graphic Designer’ listed on his profile and shares edited content everyday that he doesn't try to pass off as fake in any way. This is made clear by his stories that show his recent post before it has been edited compared to after editing. It is said that the more a photo is reposted, the higher chance it has of being flagged as fake meaning that it will be more likely to censor ‘hubs’ such as the one in the image above and anyone else trying to pass it off as real. Despite this, it is still a possibility that the original artist will also be flagged.
Through the controversy of whether this particular post should be flagged or not, Instagram released a statement reading “We will treat this content the same way we treat all misinformation on Instagram”followed by “If third-party fact-checkers mark it as false, we will filter it from Instagrams recommendation surfaces like Explore and hashtag pages.”
A Facebook Company Spokesperson released a statement on the situation and said;
“We don’t hide content because it’s photoshopped, we apply a label when a fact-checker has rated it. Upon review from the fact-checker, they changed the rating, so it is no longer being labeled as false on Instagram and Facebook.”Thisimplies that Instagram will review the content and decide whether or not it should remain flagged. In Ramzy’s case, his content was unblocked and is visible to all users again.
We hoped this has brought more awareness to all creators, but more specifically, digital artists!