Instagram Is ‘Fact-Checking’ Satire in Regards to Fauci

Instagram Is 'Fact-Checking' Satire in Regards to Fauci Instagram Is 'Fact-Checking' Satire in Regards to Fauci (Getty Images)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Wednesday, 09 June 2021 06:56 PM

Facebook-owned Instagram is now "fact-checking" jokes about Dr. Anthony Fauci and forcing users to delete them.

According to Reclaim the Net, YouTuber Luke Rudkowski's post was removed from Instagram after posting a joke about the Fauci email leak.

"Face masks over your eyes so you can't read his leaked emails," the post read, and soon after, it had been flagged for "missing context" after fact-checkers from USA Today deemed it so.

The source of the meme was apparently lifted from the Genesius Times, which abides by the slogan, "The Most Reliable Source of Fake News on the Planet."

Whereas some fact-checked posts are allowed to remain on the platform, Rudowski claims he was forced to delete it. According to the YouTube star, Instagram told him that "accounts that repeatedly share false information and their posts won't appear in certain places on Instagram". Rudowski was unable to dispute the claim.

Though most of Rudkowski's posts on Instagram are memes, this particular post was flagged for repeatedly sharing "false information."

Rudowski later tweeted a response to the post deletion, "Seriously @USATODAY got nothing f better to do but to attack clear satire trying to take my account down!?"

In 2019, Wired posted an interview with a Rutgers scholar of media and information policy, Robyn Caplan, who cited concern as to how Instagram was going to scale its fact-checking platform under Facebook, while the parent company was already struggling in its own right to fact-check.

"Facebook did not ever scale the fact-checking program on Facebook to be able to reach all users and all information on Facebook," Caplan said. "I'm not quite certain how they're going to scale to Instagram effectively."

Since 2019, it is unclear whether Instagram has scaled its fact-checking program, but the company has started using German media outlets to fact-check memes in the United States.

Earlier this year, Reclaim the Net reported that a meme post by @capitalism.inc, was flagged for "false-information" by German outlet Correctiv after suggesting that fewer bombings were carried out under the Trump administration than Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden.

When the poster went to see why the information was flagged as false, an accompanying message read, "Auch unter Donald Trump wurden viele Drohnenangriffe ausgeführt.” The message offered no translation from Instagram. But the suggested translation would read, “Many drone attacks were also carried out under Donald Trump.”