Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Facebook Creates New Tool To Combat Fake News

Facebook Creates New Tool To Combat Fake News

It started flagging content after some critics questioned whether the spread of false articles, disguised as legitimate news content, may have influenced the outcome of the US election - a charge that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has dismissed.

The feature is similar to previous efforts around privacy and security and is basically a notification that will pop up on top of your news feed for a few days.

Facebook users in those countries can flag news stories for false or misleading content by clicking on a grey downward arrow button on the right side of an article.

"These tips to spot fake news are welcome but do nothing to address that fundamental problem - in fact they put the onus on audiences to be suspicious of what they share, expecting viewers to be fact checkers - rather than acting to stop the spread of potential propaganda in the first place".

But Facebook's news feed boss Adam Mosseri described it as "somewhat concerning".

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Facebook is taking the fight against fake news to its users. While they are pressing Facebook to take more responsibility for the spread of disinformation, that also raises questions whether Facebook should become an arbiter of truth.

However, Moy said there is still a long way to go for Facebook and other organisations to properly tackle the issue of fake news. And once they are identified, Facebook is trying to dry up the "economic incentives" of false news sites by making it hard for them to buy ads on Facebook. Other recent initiatives have included the hiring of a longtime journalist, Campbell Brown, to be the company's top liaison to newsrooms, and an investment in a new group called the News Integrity Initiative.

Facebook says it's still too soon to attach warning labels on so-called "disputed" news stories, like those already being offered to users in the United States, France and the Netherlands. The Facebook Journalism Project was established to work with the industry on media products. This can include sending stickers, sharing your location with a friend to meet up, hailing a ride or sending money to friends.

Facebook unveiled M in 2015, but until now it's only been testing out the suggestions with a small percentage of Messenger users.

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