Society

Facebook Announces Plan To Stop Fake News

| by Ray Brown

Facebook has been criticized for allowing fake news to spread on its social network, and now the tech giant has come out with a plan to fight it.

"The problems here are complex, both technically and philosophically,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Nov. 19. “We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible. 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.”

Some of the principles Zuckerberg laid out in his post include stronger detection to classify misinformation; easier methods to flag fake stories; third party verification by fact-checking organizations; and warning labels on suspect news links.

Much of the traffic generated by fake news links come from Facebook, and Zuckerberg said the aim is now to disrupt “fake news economics.”

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“A lot of misinformation is driven by financially motivated spam,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We're looking into disrupting the economics with ads policies like the one we announced earlier this week, and better ad farm detection.”

Democrats have cast blame upon Facebook for President-elect Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton, in part because of fake news links. But Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg disagreed with that notion.

"There have been claims that it swayed the election, and we don't think it swayed the election,'' Sandberg told the “Today” show. “But we take that responsibility really seriously. And we're looking at things, like working with third parties, helping to label false news, doing the things we can do to make it clearer what's a hoax on Facebook." 

Sources: Mark Zuckerbeg/Facebook, Today/ Photo Credit: Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook

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