Facebook will soon allow you to report fake news stories that appear in your news feed, so that others can be made aware that they are not in fact true. They have said that this will only affect news from pages that are deliberately trying to mislead readers and not satirical sites such as The Onion.They have also stressed that they are not actually reviewing the content that is marked as false news but instead will be showing a small warning that it may not be true.
According to todays blog post by Erich Owens and Udi Weinsberg: “Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook. We are not removing stories people report as false and we are not reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy.”
As with all Facebook algorithms this is based on user actions such as if they report the story, as well as posting and then deleting stories from their feed, a good indicator of fake news. According to Facebook satirical content that is intended to be humorous is generally not reported and should not be affected by this update. The type of stories that are going to be affected are ones that are generally scamming readers or deliberately misleading news, with the examples they give being “Click here to win a lifetime supply of coffee” or “Man sees dinosaur on hike in Utah”.
Facebook have been putting a lot of work recently into the news side of the site, with the recently updated “Trending” section being very popular with some users. This seems like another update to make Facebook a reliable place to find and share news. While this update starts rolling out today, it may take a while to roll out to all users, but it should be an option for you when you next need to report a story that is not telling the truth.
Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.
KitGuru Says:While I generally find it pretty easy to spot fake news stories and I very much enjoy seeing the likes of The Onion and Waterford Whispers News in my news feed, I do think that this is a good idea as some people seem to believe anything they read on the internet these days, without any kind of fact checking.