Facebook has come under fire recently for publishing fake news segments, some of which are believed to have influenced voters in the 2016 US Presidential Election. Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been hesitant to admit that fake news segments on Facebook had as much of an impact on the election as some commenters are claiming, the announcement of the below projects shows that Facebook is keen to address the problem.
In a Facebook post on Friday Zuckerberg highlighted how the social media giant is planning on minimizing the distribution of fake news. This includes:
- Stronger detection: This refers to the technical systems Facebook will use to classify misinformation and detect fake news before it is flagged by users.
- Easy reporting: Facebook will introduce easier-to-use tools that allow users to report fake stories as they see them, helping the Facebook team to keep on top of misinformation.
- Third party verification: The company is in contact with a number “fact checking organizations” about the different methods they use for verifying news stories. Facebook plans to invite more organizations to assist them in this task.
- Warnings: Facebook is exploring methods for labeling stories that have been flagged as false by Facebook users or third parties. Users will be shown warnings for such stories when reading or sharing them on the site.
- Related articles quality: The related articles feature on Facebook’s News Feed will be reassessed and altered to ensure that only high-quality articles are included in the links.
- Disrupting fake news economics: The proliferation of fake news segments on Facebook has been driven by the monetary reward offered for popular and viral links. Zuckerberg plans to disrupt “financially motivated spam” by introducing new ad policies and improving the site’s ad farm detection.
- Listening: In addition to collaborating with third party fact checking organizations, Facebook will work with journalists and the news industry to identify the best fact checking systems and how they can be integrated into Facebook’s news platform.
Although the above may be a case of too little too late for some of Facebook’s deriders, it shows that the site acknowledges that it is no longer just a social media channel. Facebook has become one of the biggest news providers in the US, and as CEO, it is ultimately Zuckerberg’s responsibility to ensure that his product is not spreading misinformation and contributing to untruthful discussions and decisions.
Stay up-to-date with the latest market developments, trending news stories and industry advances with the Research and Markets blog. Don’t forget to join our mailing list to receive alerts for the latest blog plus information about new products.