In this age of social media where such mediums are being used for changing the way, people think, ‘Fake news’ is probably the term that is heard most of the times by all of us. Talking specifically about Facebook, which is the largest social media network in the world, Fake News is probably the topic you’ll find every now and then.
‘Fact Checkers’ was actually the mechanism to check the fake news articles which mislead the readers. Such articles were flagged which according to Facebook, fell under the fake news category. Things have taken a turn and now, this won’t happen anymore as Facebook has decided to discontinue the flagging process.
War Against ‘Fake News’
This all started when people resisted the act of flagging articles which gave a message of suppressing one’s right to express his/her views. Yale University has conducted a study in this regard, and has reached the conclusion, that this ‘fake news’ label has a value equal to zero! According to the research, flagging the articles can “backfire and further entrench someone’s beliefs.”
The algo wasn’t going well too as only 3.7% of people identified the flagged article as ‘fake news’. This clearly shows the percentage of interest that the users have regarding this method. Facebook spoke up regarding the issue in their Medium post:
In April of this year, we started testing a new version of Related Articles that appears in News Feed before someone clicks on a link to an article. In August, we began surfacing fact-checked articles in this space as well. During these tests, we learned that although click-through rates on the hoax article don’t meaningfully change between the two treatments, we did find that the Related Articles treatment led to fewer shares of the hoax article than the disputed flag treatment. We’ve also received positive feedback from people who use Facebook and found that it addresses the limitations above: it makes it easier to get context, it requires only one fact-checker’s review, it works for a range of ratings, and it doesn’t create the negative reaction that strong language or a red flag can have.
While we’ve made many changes, we’ve also kept the strongest parts of the previous experience. Just as before, as soon as we learn that an article has been disputed by fact-checkers, we immediately send a notification to those people who previously shared it. When someone shares this content going forward, a short message pops up explaining there’s additional reporting around that story. Using language that is unbiased and non-judgmental helps us to build products that speak to people with diverse perspectives.