Facebook against Fake News

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We see tons of posts bombarding our feed daily. From posts on current affairs to historical facts, there is no lack of diversity in the topics being posted. Ranging from personal opinions to expert reviews, “verified” statements to unidentified sources, Facebook has now gained a name for being an “unofficial media platform”. With various untrue statements and posts popping up by the day, concerns have been raised regarding a large amount of fake news circling the stream of Facebook feed.

Following this concern regarding misinformation, Mark Zuckerberg took to his personal Facebook page to address the issue and to let the public know what steps he has taken to combat the rising content of fake/misinformation.

Starting of Mark stated,

A lot of you have asked what we’re doing about misinformation, so I wanted to give an update.

The bottom line is: we take misinformation seriously. Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information. We’ve been working on this problem for a long time and we take this responsibility seriously. We’ve made significant progress, but there is more work to be done. Historically, we have relied on our community to help us understand what is fake and what is not. Anyone on Facebook can report any link as false, and we use signals from those reports along with a number of others — like people sharing links to myth-busting sites such as Snopes — to understand which stories we can confidently classify as misinformation. Similar to click bait, spam ,and scams, we penalize this content in News Feed so it’s much less likely to spread.”

Speaking more of the topic, he stated the steps Facebook is taking on to combat the fake news crisis.

– Stronger detection. The most important thing we can do is improve our ability to classify misinformation. This means better technical systems to detect what people will flag as false before they do it themselves.

– Easy reporting. Making it much easier for people to report stories as fake will help us catch more misinformation faster.

– Third party verification. There are many respected fact checking organizations and, while we have reached out to some, we plan to learn from many more.

– Warnings. We are exploring labeling stories that have been flagged as false by third parties or our community, and showing warnings when people read or share them.

– Related articles quality. We are raising the bar for stories that appear in related articles under links in News Feed.

– Disrupting fake news economics. A lot of misinformation is driven by financially motivated spam. We’re looking into disrupting the economics with ads policies like the one we announced earlier this week, and better ad farm detection.

– Listening. We will continue to work with journalists and others in the news industry to get their input, in particular, to better understand their fact checking systems and learn from them.

As a word of caution, Mark stated ” We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or to mistakenly restrict accurate content. We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead, rely on our community and trusted third parties.”

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