Facebook will be flagging fake news, Report
Facebook will be flagging fake news, Report

Facebook will be flagging fake news, Report

Facebook is going to start fact-checking, labeling, and burying fake news and hoaxes in its News Feed, the company said Thursday.

Facebook is making a bid to stem the “fake news” phenomenon in which critics have suggested the social-media giant has played no small part.

The company said it would partner with ABC News, Snopes.com, FactCheck.org and PolitiFact, and use them as third-party fact-checkers of articles flagged by Facebook members. Hoax stories or articles determined to be fake will be identified as such for users, and will, as a result, appear lower in Facebook news feeds, said Adam Mosseri, vice president for News Feed at Facebook, in a post made Thursday.

“We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully,” said Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president of the news feed, in a blog post. “We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organisations.”

Facebook’s third-party fact checkers are all signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles – a non-partisan organisation the tests its members’ high standards of fact-checking and commitment to transparency of sources. Forty-three organisations are signatories to this code, but the majority of those organisations will not be helping Facebook with the fake news pilot.

“In light of Facebook’s decision that being a signatory to this code is a minimum condition for being accepted as a third-party fact-checker on the social network in its US-based pilot project, we are currently rethinking the application and compliance process,” Poynter wrote in a statement on its website.

Facebook users can now report fake news articles by clicking on the upper right hand corner of a post and selecting ‘report post’ from the drop-down menu. Reported stories will be sent to the fact checking organisations and if they dispute the truthfulness of the story, it will be flagged as disputed and may appear lower in the news feed.

Facebook faced widespread criticism over its lack of action on fake news in the wake of the US election. Many argued that the volume of fake news on Facebook had tipped the election in favour of Donald Trump.

“While we don’t write the news stories you read and share, we also recognise we’re more than just a distributor of news. We’re a new kind of platform for public discourse — and that means we have a new kind of responsibility to enable people to have the most meaningful conversations, and to build a space where people can be informed,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a status update on the social network.

Facebook also outlined plans to clamp down on spammers that masquerade as legitimate news organisations in order to drive traffic to their ad-filled websites. The company has “eliminated the ability to spoof domains”, which it says will reduce the number of websites on Facebook that pretend to be legitimate news organisations.


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