“False news is harmful to our community. It makes the world less informed and erodes trust,” said Facebook. The social site, that had become one of the main distribution points for fake news, has been criticized during the 2016 US presidential election as many think it influenced the election.
So it is now trying to set things right by taking additional steps to find out the root cause of how it spreads.
According to the announcement, Facebook won’t allow advertisements on the platform that repeatedly share false stories – the social site will send articles to third-party fact-checking companies and will use updated machine learning to detect possible hoaxes. This is the extension of existing policy of blocking ads for links to stories and the latest attempts to clean-up the news-sharing function of the social platform.
According to the Facebook product managers, Satwik Shukla and Tessa Lyons, the move is really to help prevent pages from distributing misinformation, and making money they don’t deserve. According to the managers, the company will focus on three areas: disrupting the economic incentives to create false news, building new products to curb the spread of false news, helping people to take informed decisions about what they read and share.
They wrote “We’ve found instances of pages using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more widely. Now, if a page repeatedly shares stories that have been marked as false by third-party fact-checkers, they will no longer be able to buy ads on Facebook. If Pages stop sharing false news, they may be eligible to start running ads again.”
Facebook news feed product manager, Sara Su said in a blog that Facebook would keep on testing its “related article” and work on other changes to its news feed to cut down on false news.