In May 2019 the popular app began working with third-party fact-checkers in the US to help identify, review, and label false information.
In the post on their site they stated, “When content has been rated as false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker, we reduce its distribution by removing it from Explore and hashtag pages. In addition, it will be labeled so people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share. When these labels are applied, they will appear to everyone around the world viewing that content – in feed, profile, stories, and direct messages.”
Although this is admirable in theory, it has began to affect users who use the app to share their art works – some of which are heavily photoshopped.
According to the Daily Mail, “photographer Toby Harriman was the first to document the phenomenon and noticed his image had been restricted for 'false information.”
Toby shared his thoughts in a Facebook post,
“As much as I do love it to help better associate real vs photoshop. I also have a huge respect for digital art and don’t want to have to click through barriers to see it.”
His concerns were later addressed by a Facebook spokesperson who spoke to THE HYPEBEAST.
“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 labelled as false on Instagram and Facebook,” he told the publication.
This means that Facebook is not clamming down on photoshopped images but on false information specifically.
So, what does this mean for influencers who photoshop their pictures?
According to the statement by the Facebook spokesperson, the aim of this feature is specifically to spot intentional false information not photos that have been heavily edited or photoshopped.
Additionally, all photos that are incorrectly labelled as false information by the app – whether works of art or your favourite influencers heavily edited picture – will be sent for review and have the ban removed.
So no need to worry!