Facebook’s Fight Against Fake News

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By Megan Brennan

Facebook is taking new measures to stop the spread of fake news from circulating on its site.

The social network will make it easier for users to report fake news when it comes up on their timeline.

If enough people report a story as fake, Facebook will then pass it to a third-party-fact-checking organizations that are part of the nonprofit Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network.

Five organizations are working with Facebook on this: ABC News, Politifact, The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and Snopes.

Stories that do not pass the fact check will not be removed from Facebook, but they will be publicly flagged as “disputed” and appear lower down on peoples timelines.

John Hegeman, Vice President of Product Management on news feed, says “we do believe that we have an obligation to combat the spread of fake news.”

Fake news stories can be quicker to go viral than news stories from traditional sources.

In addition to fact-checkers, Facebook is also using algorithms to de-emphasize fake news stories.

Fake news will not disappear from Facebook completely, Adam Mosseri, Vice President of Products for Facebook’s news feed says “we believe providing more context can help people decide for themselves what to trust and what to share.”

 

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