Short Bytes: To reduce the broad reach of fake news across their social network, Facebook is testing a fact-checking tool that tags a possible misleading information as “disputed.” Facebook is doing so with the help of third-party fact-checkers including ABC News, Associated Press, Snopes, etc. Currently, there is no information indicating when Facebook will implement a network-wide roll-out of the tool.Since Facebook was first criticized for being a host to tons of fake news spreading across the globe, the company is working on tools to lessen the reach of the content that’s misleading.
Facebook has now started testing a fake news killer tool that they announced earlier in December, the Guardian reports. The tool shows a warning message when a user tries to share a spurious link.
A glimpse of Facebook’s fact-checking tool shows a Newport Buzz story “The Irish Slave Trade – The Slaves That Time Forgot” marked as ‘disputed by Snopes.com and Associated Press’. It alerts the user about the authenticity of the news content.
Clicking on the warning message displays links to the fact-checkers’ website and additional information about the disputed content. Last week, the Associated Press published a fact-check about the Irish Slaves story.
Another pop-up warning is displayed if the user clicks the Publish button ignoring the initial red alert. Anyways, the user can use “post anyway” option. The warning message goes on with the post, and it is visible to other users when it appears in their feed.
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Also, the users can inform Facebook about any fraudulent content using the usual reporting process.
Facebook has partnered with various third party fact-checkers including the Associated Press, ABC News, FactCheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes. Only the names of the fact-checkers who have signed Poynter’s International Fact-Checkers’ Code of Principles are included in the warning.
Over the years, Facebook has become one the biggest news consumption platforms in the world, and it’s the need of the hour for Facebook to keep an eye on the information circulating on their network. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has talked about this thing in a post on his page. “I recognize we have a greater responsibility than just building technology that information flows through,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Summarizing the basic working of the tool, Zuckerberg said Facebook will reduce the reach of a story in people’s news feed that has been tagged as disputed. Although, they wouldn’t completely restrict users from reading and sharing such posts.
If the users a less likely to share a story after reading it than in comparison to the ones who just read the headline, Facebook would take the fact into consideration while pushing the story in the News Feed.
It’s unclear when the tool will finally be rolled out across Facebook’s social network. Facebook’s official help page about the same only says that the “feature isn’t available for everyone yet.” The Guardian was able to trigger the tool from San Fransisco. However, it didn’t work when Fossbytes tried to post a link Newport Buzz story link.
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