If you are using Instagram and finding that some of the images in the main feed are blurry, then there is no need to worry. You are not alone here! Note that the image-sharing platform’s fact-checkers have started flagging digitally altered images as “false information”, and this will include some Photoshopped images that are manipulated for artistic reasons. This new development is the part of parent company Facebook’s to control the fake news. It is important to note that Instagram has doesn’t clearly define what the platform is considering “false information”. A post should go through independent fact-checkers to pass muster.
Flagging of Post on Instagram
When a post is flagged, then Instagram makes it “harder to find by filtering it from Explore and Hashtags”. But an original post that might be visible in a feed or a user’s profile page, when you will be clicking on it to view on a full screen, then users may see a warning as shown in the screenshot below.
The image in the question is that of a man standing on rainbow-hued mountains which is clearly not a real place and quite obvious to most the viewers that the image has been changed for illustrative reasons.
Toby Harriman, a photographer from San Francisco found this image from user MIX Society when scrolling through his Instagram feed and wondered whether the platform was taking its policing “a bit too far” on his Facebook page. Scrolling more on other posts on the MIX Society profile page, there were few other Photoshopped images like the ‘bear island’ in the picture below. But this picture was not flagged as “false information”.
There are various altered images present on the platform but this kind of policing is raising a debate over Instagram’s inconsistency on flagging what is and what is not fake? It’s also highlighting the old argument about manipulating images for artistic reasons and ‘real photography’. Some people are worried that this is going to kill memes. One of the Facebook users mentioned when responding to Harriman’s post, a clear guideline should be provided by Instagram about what is false?
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