Facebook looked pretty unprofessional when earlier this year it fired its entire news curation staff, only to have the algorithm that replaced them promote fake news within 24 hours. To stop that happening in the future, the social network has teamed up with Twitter and other news and tech firms to validate stories before promotion.
It was only at the end of August that Facebook’s big news gaff became apparent. Its news algorithm, which was designed to take over the role of a number of human editors, quickly proved itself incapable of telling the difference between a heavily shared fake story and real news.
The new plan is to make use of the First Draft Coalition, a group formed in mid 2015 with backing from Google and the cooperation of a number of technology and news firms. Together they will cross reference stories that are receiving a lot of attention, in order to confirm or deny their authenticity.
This faux story hit the top of Facebook’s trending hours after it fired its news team
Reuters reports that the coalition will also promote a voluntary code of practice, though it’s not clear if that relates to the kind of stories that can be shared on social networks, or the kind of content that can be put into news stories by sites and services that produce it.
Some of the other companies in the coalition include the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Agence France-Presse and in a slightly different tone, Buzzfeed. That list of course now includes Facebook and Twitter, which offer something a little different than the others, so it will be interesting to see how the voluntary code of practice affects individual sites and services differently.
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KitGuru Says: Hopefully this fixes some of the fake news that gains real traction on social media, but how will it affect the ability for deliberately satirical news sources to disseminate their articles?