Facebook has introduced its weapon to combat ‘fake news’.
Users have reported seeing a pop-up window when they attempted to share articles that were deemed inaccurate by third-party fact-checkers.
The feature is part of Facebook’s program to work with third-party fact-checking organizations that are have agreed to Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles.
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Facebook has introduced its weapon to combat ‘fake news’. Users have reported seeing a pop-up window when they attempted to share articles that were deemed inaccurate by third-party fact-checkers
Facebook has been criticized for the amount of fake news floating around its platform and has been attacked for not taking the steps to do anything about it.
‘There have been some accusations that say that we actually want this kind of content on our service because its more content and people click on it, but that’s crap,’ said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg while visiting North Carolina A7T State university earlier this month.
‘No one in our community wants fake information.’
‘We are also victims of this and we do not want it on our service.’
‘We don’t want any of it.’
DETAILS OF FACEBOOK’S FACT-CHECKING PROGRAM
Facebook itself will not decide what is real and what is considered fake.
Instead, it is enlisting The Poynter Institute, a Florida journalism school, to sift through content.
The Poynter Institute is the host of the International Fact Checking Network which bills itself as a ‘global alliance of fact checkers’.
The new alert system appeared when many users tried to share a story that made false claims about people from Ireland were forced to come to the US as slaves. When users attempted to share the link they were instantly met with an alert
Its members include ABC News, Politico, The Associated Press and Snopes.com and The Washington Post.
The Network receives funding from various sources including the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Duke Reporters’ Lab, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations and the Park Foundation.
All describe themselves as non-profit organizations.
The Network will rely on its ‘code of principles’ to decipher between fake and real content. It asks signatories adhere to the following principles;
– Non-partisanship and fairness
– Transparency of sources
– Transparency of funding and organization
– Transparency of methodology
– Commitment to open and honest corrections
The new alert system appeared when many users tried to share a story that made false claims about thousands of people from Ireland were forced to come to the US as slaves.
The article, entitled ‘The Irish slave trade – The slaves that time forgot’, was published by Newport Buzz on March 7 and began making its way to Facebook leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.
However, the moment users placed the link in ‘What’s on your mind’ box, they were notified that the article had been disputed by Associate Press and Snopes.com.
Then another message appeared when users attempt to post it regardless of the warning.
Then another message appeared when users attempt to post the flase article regardless of the warning. The feature appears to be on both desktop (pictured) and in the app
GOOGLE TO CRACK DOWN ON FAKE NEWS
Google has over 10,000 quality raters, contractors worldwide that evaluate search results.
Raters are given actual searches to conduct, drawn from real searches that Google sees.
They then rate pages that appear in the top results as to how good those seem as answers.
Quality raters do not have the power to alter Google’s results directly.
Instead, the data produced by quality raters is used to improve Google’s search algorithms generally.
In time, that data might have an impact on low-quality pages that are spotted by raters, as well as on others that weren’t reviewed.
Quality raters use a set of guidelines that are nearly 200 pages long, instructing them on how to assess website quality and whether the results they review meet the needs of those who might search for particular queries.
‘Before you share this content, you might want to know that the fact-checking sites, Associated Press and Snopes.com disputed its accuracy,’ reads the message.
Users do have the option to ‘Post Anyway’, but they can also learn more about the disputed content where Facebook shares links to Snopes’s and AP’s pages that fact-check the article – showing users why it was deemed false news.
The feature is said to only be available for some users and Facebook has not announced when it will roll out to the masses.
DailyMail.com has contacted Facebook for comment and has yet to receive a response.
Facebook revealed that it would use fact-checkers to crack down on false stories in December, following accusations it allowed the spread of ‘fake news’ to swing the election.
Fake news stories on Facebook have touched on a broad range of subjects, from unproven cancer cures to celebrity hoaxes and backyard Bigfoot sightings.
Users do have the option to ‘Post Anyway’, but they can also learn more about the disputed content where Facebook shares links to Snopes’s and AP’s pages that fact-check the article – showing users why it was deemed false news
But fake political stories have drawn attention because of the possibility that they influenced public perceptions and could have swayed the U.S. presidential election.
And others have dangerous real-world consequences.
A fake story about a child sex ring at a Washington, D.C., pizza joint prompted a man to fire an assault rifle inside the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong.
‘We do believe that we have an obligation to combat the spread of fake news,’ said John Hegeman, vice president of product management on News Feed.
By partnering with respected outside organizations and flagging, rather than removing, fake stories, Facebook is sidestepping some of the biggest concerns experts had raised about it exercising its considerable power in this area.
For instance, some worried that Facebook might act as a censor — and not a skillful one, either, being an engineer-led company with little experience making complex media ethics decisions.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg insists that fake news constitutes less than one percent of what’s on Facebook , but critics say that’s wildly misleading.
For a site with nearly 2 billion users tapping out posts by the millisecond, even one percent is a huge number, especially since the total includes everything that’s posted on Facebook — photos, videos and daily updates in addition to news articles.