Facebook will now be working with third party fact-checkers like Snopes and ABC news to eliminate hoaxes and spam news on its service. The international fact-checking network is a nonprofit school for journalism, Poynter. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg had spoke briefly of the steps the company will be taking to find the solution for this issue. Once a news story is confirmed fake, it will be labeled as “disputed” and demoted in the news feed. Facebook users can flag a story if they think it is fake and if the post gets a good amount of flags by users then it will come up on a platform that fact-checkers can see and examine.
Facebook users will still be able to share the fake posts but will be able to see that the content has been debunked and evidence of it will be provided by the fact-checkers through a link attached to the post. A company spokesperson said that Facebook will use signals like algorithms that detect if a story that seems fake is going viral, to determine if it should label the story as fake and bury it in people’s feeds. These posts will not be allowed to be turned into ads or be promoted. A team of its researchers will also review the website domains and send the ones that seem fake to third party fact-checkers. These fact-checkers will not be getting paid, instead they will receive higher traffic on their branding.
The decision comes after Facebook received raging criticism for spreading a flood of political misinformation during the US presidential election. One of the stories falsely stated that the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump and it was shared about 1 million times. If the third party fact-checkers confirm that a story is fake, they will report it to a special reporting site built by Facebook for them. Facebook’s VP of News Feed, Adam Mosseri said “we believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully. We’re excited about this progress, but we know there’s more to be done. We’re going to keep working on this problem for as long as it takes to get it right.” The company said the updates will start taking place this week in the US.