Facebook has become a central location for “fake news,” hoax stories. Most of the time, the news are purposely meant to deceive people. Those days could finally be over after the company has announced it is rolling out a new tool designed to make it easier for users to report fake links shared in the News Feed.
The company started rolling out the tool today and is working with five fact-checking organizations – ABC News, AP, FactCheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes – to fact-check the accuracy of viral stories on the network.
Facebook says it believes in giving people a voice and cannot become arbiters of truth, that is why they are approaching this problem very 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,’’ Facebook said in a blog post.
Readers will be able to alert Facebook too if they identify fake news stories in the News Feed by clicking on the upper right-hand corner of a post. Facebook will then send this alert to the outside fact-checking organizations for verification. If the fact checking organizations identify the story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why.
‘’We believe providing more context can help people decide for themselves what to trust and what to share. ‘’ said Adam Mosseri, who leads product management for the News Feed.
Facebook says it has found out 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 their sites, which are often mostly ads.
It says it is doing several things to reduce the financial incentives. On the buying side, it has eliminated the ability to spoof domains, which it say will reduce the prevalence of sites that pretend to be real publications.
Facebook says it is always looking to improve News Feed by listening to what the community is telling them.
‘’We’ve 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. We’re going to 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.’’
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg through a post on his facebook page says this is just one of many steps Facebook will make to keep improving the quality of our service.