Meta’s Threads takes aim at misinformation with fact-checking program ahead of big elections year

Meta, the parent company of Instagram, is fortifying its fact-checking efforts, extending them to the attached social media app, Threads. Threads, launched earlier this year, is gearing up for a European launch and has been steadily introducing updates, including a recent addition called “Tags” aimed at simplifying content categorisation. However, the latest move is an effort to enhance content moderation on the platform.

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, revealed that Meta is developing a fact-checking program for Threads, scheduled to roll out early next year. This program will empower third-party fact-checking partners to identify and review content on Threads, providing users with controls over the level of “demotions on fact-checked content” in their feeds.

The fact-checking initiative comes at a crucial time as the US and India — world’s two largest democracies — prepare for elections to respective country’s top posts, in the same year, i.e. 2024. Social media platforms, including Meta, are under increasing pressure to combat the spread of misinformation.

Currently, Threads aligns its fact-checking with ratings from Facebook or Instagram, but the upcoming program will allow fact-checkers to assess content independently within the app. Users in the US will have the flexibility to customise their experience, deciding whether to increase, decrease, or maintain the default level of demotions on fact-checked content. This move follows Meta’s recent efforts to grant users more control over sensitive or fact-checked content on its other platforms.

This move aligns with Meta’s broader efforts to enhance content moderation and user controls, particularly in regions facing significant political events. Threads users, particularly in the US, will have the autonomy to shape their content experience, mirroring the settings on Instagram. The move highlights Meta’s commitment to tackling misinformation across its platforms and preparing for the challenges posed by upcoming elections.