Facebook Inc said on Thursday it will introduce tools to prevent fake news stories from spreading on its platform, a turn around because of rising feedback that it did not do enough to combat the problem during the U.S. presidential campaign.
The social network company focused on that the new features are part of an ongoing process to refine and test how it manages with fake news. It has faced complaints this year involving how it monitors and polices content produced by its 1.8 billion users.
Facebook said users will find it easier to flag fake articles on their News Feed as a hoax, and it will work with associations such as fact-checking site Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to check the authenticity of stories.
If such organizations recognize a story as fake, Facebook said, it will get flagged as “disputed” and be linked to the corresponding article explaining why. The company said disputed stories may appear lower in its news feed, adding that once a story is flagged, it cannot be promoted.
A few weeks ago, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said it was a ” insane thought ” that fake or misleading news on Facebook helped swing the election in favour of Republican Donald Trump. However, feedback held on in the midst of reports that individuals in the United States and different nations have manufactured shocking fabrications intended to interest traditionalists.
Commentators said fake news frequently was more widely read than news reported by major media organizations.
Ahead of the Nov. 8 election, Facebook clients saw fake news reports saying Pope Francis embraced Trump and that a government specialist who had been exploring Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was found dead.
The effort by Facebook is planned to focus on the “worst of the worst” of clear hoaxes created by “spammers for their own gain,” Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice responsible for its News Feed, said in a blog entry.
Some far-right traditionalist authors immediately jumped on the declaration, decrying it as a covert attempt to muzzle their legitimate content.
“Translation: A group of incredibly biased left-wing fake news outlets will cover disagreeing conclusions,” Paul Joseph Watson, supervisor everywhere of the far-right site Infowars, which routinely sells unverified paranoid ideas, said on Twitter.
Facebook has struggled throughout the year to mollify conservatives who fear the company may be censoring them. The company fired contractors who managed the site’s trending news sidebar after a report by Gizmodo in May quoted an anonymous employee claiming the site routinely suppressed conservative news.
On Thursday, Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for U.S. public policy, met with President-elect Trump at his Manhattan tower.
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