Facebook has an answer to fake news

PUBLISHED: Sat, 19 Nov 2016 10:18:06 GMT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Friday laid out the latest steps by his company to weed out fake news, amid growing criticism over the possible impact misinformation on the social network had on swaying the U.S. presidential election outcome.

The company has found itself thrust at the center of the debate on fake news, with even U.S. President Barack Obama lamenting the spread of misinformation on the social media platform. A report released earlier this week showed that more Facebook users engaged with misleading stories than real, mainstream reporting.

In a late night post, Zuckerberg said the amount of misinformation on Facebook was small but the company took the matter seriously.

He said Facebook will strive to enhance its ability to detect false news while also making it easier for people to report fake stories.

Another aspect of Facebook’s plan was third-party verification. Zuckerberg said Facebook had reached out to many fact-checking organizations and was hoping to hear from others as well.

Other measures to stamp out fake news included labeling stories that had been identified as false by third parties or Facebook’s community and showing warnings when people read or share them.

Obama: Misinformation can be packaged well on Facebook  Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 | 12:22 PM ET | 03:01

Facebook will make the criteria for selecting stories that appear as links in its news feed more stringent and work with the media industry to better understand their fact checking systems, he said.

In addition, Zuckerberg said Facebook will continue to disrupt the economics underpinning fake news, having updated its advertising standards earlier this week to make it clear that its ban on deceptive and misleading content also applies to fake news.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the situation was complex, both technically and philosophically.

“We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or mistakenly restricting accurate content. We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties,” he said in the post.

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