Meta Announces Expansion of Fact-Checking Program to Threads in 2023

With two large-scale elections in the U.S. in India next year, Threads aims to introduce a fact-checking checking program to the social network.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri said that the social platform currently matches ratings from Facebook or Instagram to similar content. But next year fact-checkers will have tools to review posts.

“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,” he said in a post.

Separately, Meta shared in a blog post that soon U.S-based Threads users will be able to increase, decrease, or maintain the same level of demotion on fact-checked posts. The company said that if users had applied settings on Instagram to not see sensitive content, that would carry over to Threads.

Meta and Threads haven’t been keen on bolstering news on the platform. However, the company will need to keep misinformation in check — especially during election time. In October, Mosseri said that while the Threads is not “anti-news” it is “not going to amplify news on the platform.”

Notably, the site still blocks the search for keywords including “covid” and “covid-19” — first reported by the Washington Post in September.

With features like tags (without the hash symbol) and trending topics (which still haven’t been rolled out), users will have more ways to search for and disseminate information. Meta has been burnt before because of the spread of misinformation on its platform. So the company is taking early steps to avoid such mishaps again.

However, until Meta provides more details on the program, there will be many questions around it ranging from the nature of labeling misinformative posts and ways for showing correct and contextual information. And while Threads has stayed away from news until now, with fact-checking programs it will have to get involved.

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