After taking heat for allegedly swaying the results of our nation’s historic election last month, Facebook is coming up with a plan to fight back against fake new stories.
Effective Dec. 15, here are four steps the social media giant announced it will begin taking.
Better reporting: Only you can prevent fake news from spreading!
Reporting fake news is going to be easier. It all starts with clicking on the upper right hand corner of a post.
That will pull up a dialog box where you can hit ‘report post.’ From there, simply select ‘It’s a fake news story’ as the reason for reporting and then ‘Mark this post as fake news’ on the following screen.
Going through this quick process will remove the story from your News Feed and flag it for further review.
Which brings us to the second point…
Calling in the calvary: Introducing independent third-party fact checkers
In perhaps the most radical new move, Facebook is partnering with third-party fact checking organizations that are signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles.
These fact checkers will be tasked with sorting out the legit stories from the phonies after an item is reported as a fake.
Disputed items will appear with a red exclamation point in your News Feed, along with a link that explains exactly what the problem is.
You’ll still be able to share these stories, but they’ll come annotated with the disclaimer that they’ve been disputed.
And of course, disputed stories will likely get demoted in your News Feed.
Share and share alike: The new metric Facebook measures
Once you click through to read an article, what happens next? If you’re like most people, you’ll share it if it’s worthwhile content — or you’ll close out of it quickly if it’s clickbait.
Knowing that, Facebook says it will take a closer look ‘specifically for articles that are outliers, where people who read the article are significantly less likely to share it.’ That’s according to new blog post from Adam Mosseri, VP of News Feed at Facebook.
Bottom line: If a lot of people don’t share an article after clicking on it, that may lower the article’s ranking in your News Feed.
Show me the money: Hitting spammers where it hurts — in the wallet
Facebook is also putting the financial squeeze on spammers who pump out fake news.
‘On the buying side we’ve eliminated the ability to spoof domains, which will reduce the prevalence of sites that pretend to be real publications,’ Mosseri notes. ‘On the publisher side, we are analyzing publisher sites to detect where policy enforcement actions might be necessary.’
Is Facebook playing the role of thought police?
From the company’s perspective, no way.
‘We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully,’ Mosseri writes. ‘We’re going to keep working on this problem for as long as it takes to get it right.’