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Facebook previews new tools vs hoaxes, fake news

Rappler Social Media Team
Facebook previews new tools vs hoaxes, fake news
Facebook will roll out 4 main features to curb hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain

MANILA, Philippines – Facebook has started to roll out several ways to address fake news and hoaxes. 

According to Adam Mosseri, Vice President of their News Feed division: “[W]e cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully. 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 organizations.”

The work falls under 4 areas. 

Easier reporting

Facebook hopes to make it easier to report a hoax if you see one on Facebook, which you can do by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post.

Flagging stories as disputed

Providing more context can help people decide for themselves what to trust and what to share. Facebook started a program to work with third-party fact checking organizations that are signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles. Facebook will then use the reports from its community, along with other signals, to send stories to these organizations. If the fact checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed.

It will still be possible to share these stories, but you will see a warning that the story has been disputed as you share.

Once a story is flagged, it can’t be made into an ad and promoted, either. 

Informed sharing

Facebook found that if reading an article makes people significantly less likely to share it, that may be a sign that a story has misled people in some way. They will thus test incorporating this signal into ranking, specifically for articles that are outliers, where people who read the article are significantly less likely to share it. 

Disrupting financial incentives for spammers

Facebook has found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated. Spammers make money by masquerading as well-known news organizations, and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to their sites, which are often mostly ads.

On the buying side, the social media giant has eliminated the ability to spoof domains, which will reduce the prevalence of sites that pretend to be real publications. On the publisher side,
they are analyzing publisher sites to detect where policy enforcement actions might be necessary.

“It’s important to us that the stories you see on Facebook are authentic and meaningful. We’re excited about this progress, but we know there’s more to be done. We’re going to keep working on this problem for as long as it takes to get it right,” says Mosseri. 

What do you think of these tools? Write your thoughts on X! – Rappler.com

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