Facebook Outlines Plans to Fight Fake News


Facebook has announced plans to limit the amount of fake news on its site. The social media giant came under fire after the recent US presidential election for its role in spreading misinformation. For example, a false story alleging that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump was shared close to a million times across the site and a teenager from Macedonia told NBC News that he had been paid at least ,000 to spread fake news about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, aimed at Republican supporters.

Beginning yesterday, Facebook said that its begun testing various ways for users to report fake articles and block the publication that posted the story from your feed. It also revealed plans to work with third-party fact checkers—like ABC News, PolitiFact, and the Associated Press—that are verified by Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles. This means that flagged articles will appear lower down on your news feed, and should you choose to try and share it, a message will pop-up explaining that fact-checkers have disputed its accuracy. Lastly, Facebook said that its changing its advertising practices, so that companies spreading fake news can no longer profit from it.

Limiting content on the Internet is a tricky thing and there has already been significant criticism from those who question the validity of the fact checkers and Facebook’s right to censor what’s on our news feeds, but the company insists that it will only flag clear news content and not opinion pieces or satirical sites, like The Onion. In a direct post, Mark Zuckerberg assured users that the social network is not seeking „to be arbiters of truth,“ but rather that it recognized its social responsibility to provide people with accurate information.

Click here to watch Facebook’s video announcement, outlining exactly how the new system will work.


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