Facebook has been blamed for so many times that it eases the spreading of fake news, especially during the presidential election. Now, they have decided to make a first step towards solving this problem.
Facebook’s attempt to solve the problem of misinformation involves the tagging of articles as ‘disputed’ by some third-party organizations that deal with fact checking. In December 2016, they announced that they were planning to start labeling fake news.
For this, they started a cooperation with an international apolitical network of organizations led by Poynter. There are currently 42 organizations in the team but, so far, Facebook is relying on four to do the fact checking. These are Snopes, PolitiFact, ABC News, and Factcheck.org. All organizations that adhere to Poynter’s network need to adopt a code of principles.
With this new system, users will be able to flag certain news if they find them misleading or think they are false. Then, the fact checkers will review the news and label it as potentially fake for everybody in the News Feed to see.
Also, Facebook already created a special section where they explain how a story ends up as disputed. The section also informs the users on how they can flag a story by themselves if they find it suspicious. Then, the experts can start reviewing the website domains and check the facts in the articles.
The problem with misinformation on Facebook gained spread during the presidential election when, among other fake news, there circulated the “Pizzagate” conspiracy which claimed that Hillary Clinton and those involved in her campaign ran a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor in Washington DC.
Both Clinton and former president Barack Obama blamed Facebook for this ‘epidemic’ of fake news, but Mark Zuckerberg was initially skeptical about putting all blame on Facebook but, after intense accusations, he immediately changed his approach.
He admitted that they had a greater responsibility than just providing technology and that some Facebook users might take for granted everything that gets published on the News Feed.
This sounds like a good and helpful initiative, but we have to wait and see if this new system of flagging misleading news can actually help people differentiate between real and fake news.
Image Source: Flickr