Facebook have announced plans to tackle the surge of fake news that have plagued the social media for a number of years with a number of tangible steps.
Claims that Clinton had an affair with Yoko Ono, the SS Cotopaxi was recovered in the Bermuda Triangle and that Pope Francis has officially endorsed Trump for President are only a miniscule selection of the large volume of fake news and hoaxes that spread across Facebook each day.
Many have even claimed such fakery can have potential consequences for real world events, such as the presidential election.
Now Facebook have stepped up with a series of steps aimed to tackle this surge of fake news and to suppress online nonsense.
The follow steps include –
1. Providing a “fake news story” option under the Report menu, so users can specifically label a post or link they see on Facebook as fake. Prior to this, the option for online hoaxes of fake news has been ambiguous, with many opting for spam.
2. If enough users flag a link or post as fake news, Facebook refer that post to third party “fact checking” organisations that have agreed to the Poynter’s Fact Checking Code of Principles. This promotes objective based fact checking to see if a particular story is a hoax.
3. If the third party fact checkers conclude that a story is not true, that link will be labelled with a “disputed by 3rd party fact checkers” label – when a user attempts to share the story, a warning will appear informing the user of this – however they will still be able to share the post/link if they wish. See image below.
Facebook have announced even more changes to their algorithms when it comes to looking for signs of fake news so that suspected offenders will not reach as many people across Facebook, as well as actively penalising websites that attempt to disguise themselves as legitimate news outlets.
Facebook, and their CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have seemed keen not to be seen as the “arbiters of truth” which is why they are using third party sites to ultimately decide whether a particular story is a hoax or not.
What do you think of the moves by Facebook? Let us know.