Facebook says its plotting a new strategy to combat fake news on the network. Up until now, the social media giant tried to get rid of the issue by flagging fake news with ‘disputed labels’ on stories which were found to be fake. But the company realized this was only making the problem worse.
Hence, Facebook has decided to let go of this approach to combat the fake news problem. Instead, the company now plans to provide relevant context alongside fake stories to offer fact-checks for readers.
“Today, we’re announcing two changes which we believe will help in our fight against false news. First, we will no longer use Disputed Flags to identify false news. Instead we’ll use Related Articles to help give people more context about the story,” said Facebook’s Product Manager Tessa Lyns in a blog post.
The new strategy is expected to augment the fast-checking procedure. As earlier, the labelling system needed two fact-checkers, but with the new approach just one fact-checker can appear alongside the false story as a fact-checker.
“False news undermines the unique value that Facebook offers: the ability for you to connect with family and friends in meaningful ways. It’s why we’re investing in better technology and more people to help prevent the spread of misinformation. Overall, we’re making progress. Demoting false news (as identified by fact-checkers) is one of our best weapons because demoted articles typically lose 80 percent of their traffic. This destroys the economic incentives spammers and troll farms have to generate these articles in the first place,” further explained Lyns in the blog post.
Facebook also stated that it tested the new feature with few hoax articles which were shared on its platform which also had fact-checkers’ articles attached to them. The company also said it’ll be doubling its efforts in 2018 in order to fight fake news on the social network.