Facebook has begun doing everything in their power to stop or at least slow down the spreading of fake news. For starters, the company wants to track and eliminate the biggest threats and offenders. The social media platform is maybe the biggest influencer on the Internet which anybody can have access to. So, because of this, Mark Zuckerberg is going to gather some trusted partners to begin the fight against misinformation.
Facebook and its crime-fighting partners
Facebook is planning to gather some fact-checkers and organizations which might be able to help the company reduce and even eliminate those controversial fake news reports from the website. Also, from now on, Facebook will allow its users to take action when they see a fake news report on their timeline. It will all be done in two easy steps. If someone sees an invented piece of news, they can report it as being fake. If enough users will do this, then Facebook will do the rest. The company will announce the fact-checkers and they will establish if the article is indeed fake, it offends anyone or is a threat. Some of Facebook ’s crime-fighting partners are ABC News, The Associated Press or FactCheck.org.
A fight against fake-news reports
Later, if the organizations establish an article as being possibly fake, it will not immediately disappear from Facebook. Instead, it would be deemed as “disputed”. This attribute will make them harder to see or access by the public and in time, they will fall lower and lower into the newsfeeds of the users. Moreover, if someone finds such a piece of news and decided to share it anyway, they will receive a warning not to do so. This initiative is also meant to disrupt the incentives of spammers who keep posting fake news.
Fact-checkers work for free
It is interesting to note that those fact-checking companies are doing their work for free. When asked why is this so, a Facebook official said that maybe because their purposes are the same. Both Facebook and every such company wishes to stop the spreading of those fake news. So, they are helping each other out in a way.
Still, there may be some people who might argue that Facebook is doing equals censorship of free speech. The company says that this is not the case. Their beliefs are that people are free to say and post whatever they feel like. However, if what they are posting offends other people they need to be taught a lesson. If nobody acts against this phenomenon, it would only grow larger and larger. Maybe until the point where you will not be able to tell a fake article from a legit one.
Zuckerberg has also said that what they are trying to improve is the fact the many of those fake news appear in the Related Articles tab, under the respective news. So, they need to work on that and stop it from happening. This initiative might take some time to come to fruition, but it is a beginning.
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