Facebook Creates New Feature To Alert Users To Fake News
BY Naomi Gordon | Mar 30, 2017 | Culture
Facebook has turned out its new fact-checking tool which will alert users to potentially fake news by 'disputing content'.
Last year, the website announced that it would partner with independent fact-checkers in an attempt to prevent the spread of hoax reports across its platform.
The warning message first became visible on Facebook when users tried to post a link to a story that falsely claimed thousands of Irish people were imprisoned as slaves during the slave trade. It had originally been published by the Rhode Island entertainment blog Newport Buzz ahead of St Partick's Day last Friday (17 March).
A red alert appeared for some social media users which indicated that the article had been disputed by Snopes.com, a reference site against misinformation, and news agency Press Association.
Clicking on the red warning sign will produce another pop-up which reads: "Sometimes people share fake news without knowing it. When independent fact-checkers dispute this content, you may be able to visit their websites to find out why.
"Only fact-checkers signed up to Poynter's nonpartisan code of principles are shown."
The International Fact-Checking Network promotes excellence in fact-checking, which is a "powerful instrument of accountability journalism; conversely, unsourced or biased fact-checking can increase distrust in the media and experts while polluting public understanding."
If a user were to ignore the warning and click 'publish' instead, another warning pops up to repeat that the validity of the content is being disputed. If the link is then published, it will appear in another users' timeline with the tagline: "Disputed by Snopes.com and Associated Press".
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes in a post on his page in December, writing: "We have a responsibility to make sure Facebook has the greatest positive impact on the world. This update is just one of many steps forward, and there will be more work beyond this.
"Facebook is a new kind of platform different from anything before it. I think of Facebook as a technology company, but I recognise we have a greater responsibility than just building technology that information flows through. While we don't write the news stories you read and share, we also recognise we're more than just a distributor of news.
"We're a new kind of platform for public discourse -- and that means we have a new kind of responsibility to enable people to have the most meaningful conversations, and to build a space where people can be informed."
From: Esquire UK