Experts spoke to NBC News regarding videos and memes becoming a dominant method of election misinformation for the 2020 elections. This makes Instagram, the famous photo centric app, a critical arena for efforts in election manipulation and initial conflicts have already begun.
On Monday, Facebook announces the removal of 50 accounts in Instagram with links to Russian supported influence campaign, also a single Facebook account. Instagram is owned by Facebook have associated the campaigns with Internet Research Agency, a troll factory linked to Kremlin who have initiated a wide spread influence operation for election on 2016.
Even though social networking companies have tried to eliminate text-based posts, viral videos and memes are problematic to trace, informs disinformation analysts. The memes become effortless for foreign influencers in creating and achieving the planned effects with better density than a tweet or a Facebook post.
Facebook announced on Monday their new strategy to tackle image-based misinformation launching a pop-up which appears when users are about to share posts on Instagram that are deemed fake or partly fake by fact-checking mediators. This new feature will notify the user on the false material they want to share giving them the choice to share anyway or cancel the action.
In relation to the campaign linked to Russia, Facebook comments that the actors have managed the accounts posing as locals from different states and either as a progressive or conservative supporter. These accounts have been using content that are shared across media platforms by other, which include screenshots from public figures and news companies on social media.
These fake accounts frequently shares on political issues for both sides on topics that include environmental issues, U.S. elections, political candidates, LGBTQ issues, racial tensions, confederate ideas, liberalism and conservatism.
Mark Zuckerberg when interviewed by NBC’s Lester Holt, comments on the complex strategies employed by China, Russia and Iran to interfere with the elections. He adds that his company has their own plan to combat against misinformation using tactics from a playbook to expect every scenario and eliminate them.