X Media™ Company

Meta Begins Testing Fact Check Markers on Threads

While it doesn’t particularly want political discussion on Threads, Meta also knows that it’s going to happen either way, which is why it’s now expanding its fact-checks to Threads as well, with the first fact-check alerts spotted in-stream late last week.

Threads fact check

As you can see in this example, Threads is now displaying fact-checks in some regions, with the current notes mirroring the work done on Facebook and Instagram, and not unique to Threads itself.

Meta’s confirmed to TechCrunch that more fact check markers are coming to Threads, but right now, it’s in limited form, with the Threads alerts matching similar content that’s been fact-checked in its other apps.

Meta will however be adding specific Threads tags, which will be important given the various polls happening around the world this year, and the expected impact of AI-generated deepfakes in particular in the process.

Fact-checking has become a point of contention in some circles, with X owner Elon Musk looking to reduce the impact of outside interference on what’s shared in his app, with Musk suggesting that these types of processes are merely designed to help maintain certain narratives, as opposed to being used as informational markers.

Which would be some feat, considering the array of third-party fact-checking partners involved in the process. But even so, Musk’s preference, instead, is to rely on Community Notes crowd-sourced fact-checking, which, in his view, will enable “the people” to decide what’s true and what’s not, as opposed to professional organizations.

Which, as various reports have shown, is largely unworkable at scale, and easily infiltrated by biased operatives. As such, it does seem like X could be particularly vulnerable to manipulation in the coming election period, while other platforms work to ramp up their confirmation and validation efforts through more cooperative means.

And as noted, Threads too will eventually have dedicated fact-checks in-stream, which could be a key tool in helping to dispel false narratives and reports, and keeping voters informed.

Previous research has shown that fact-check labels have a significant effect on reducing false news sharing intentions, and clearly, Meta sees high value in employing this as a misinformation deterrent.

Politics, ideally, won’t gain significant traction on Threads, due to the platform opting users out of political content by default, which will make it harder for those topics to gain mass momentum in the app. But it’s important for Meta to still consider the influence of such, and to counter harmful impacts where it can.   

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