Facebook finally gets serious about fighting fake news
Dec 19 2016
Facebook announced that they are partnering with third party fact checkers in an effort not allow spammers and hoaxers to profit off of fake news, "We believe providing more context can help people decide for themselves what to trust and what to share". It will make fake news posts less visible, append warnings from fact checkers to fake news in the feed, make reporting hoaxes easier, and disrupt the financial incentives of fake news spammers.
"We believe in giving people a voice and that we can not become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we're approaching this problem carefully", Mosseri wrote yesterday in a Facebook newsroom post.
Facebook recently unveiled a plan to address the issues of false information disguised as a factual news story.
At least one prominent conservative voice, Brent Bozell, the president of the Media Research Center, said he had been in communication with Zuckerberg about it. "Zuckerberg assured me that his express aim is to eliminate only patently false news stories from Facebook", Bozell said.
"While we don't write the news stories you read and share, we also recognise we're more than just a distributor of news".
"ABC News, The Associated Press, FactCheck.org, Politifact and Snopes are among the fact-checking organizations that Facebook is recruiting to help counter the spread of false news reports". The Pew survey found that 15 percent of Americans are not very confident or totally unconfident in their ability to recognize fake news on the internet. Facebook will also scan landing pages of suspected fakers, and if they're primarily just ad-covered spam sites, and potentially levy enforcement actions against them.
The Book was widely criticized this year for their failure to suppress multiple fake news stories about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton that rapidly spread on the platform during the presidential election.
"We'll use the reports from our community, along with other signals, to send stories to these organizations", the blog post said. Less than four months ago, Facebook replaced human editors responsible for curating its Trending News feature with an algorithm after critics complained they omitted conservative viewpoints.
"He underscored he has instructed these organizations to focus only on truly fake news and nothing of a political nature", Bozell added.
If someone wants to appeal a label, they can direct that complaint to the fact-checking organization that made the call on whether an article was true or not.
But Facebook's new features will make it hard for fake news to travel far.
A clear warning on disputed stories would be particularly useful for people who don't have enough background or expertise to fact-check news stories on their own.
If the organizations determine a post is fake, Facebook will flag it as "disputed" and include a link to an explanation of the fact-checkers' findings.
The effort to weed out fake news has been met with a positive reaction by most people.