Facebook to Take Drastic Steps to Control Spread of Fake News

The social-networking site said that it was making investments to stop the spread of false news.

2 min read
Facebook to Take Drastic Steps to Control Spread of Fake News

Social-networking site Facebook on Wednesday, 23 May, said that it was making significant investments to stop the spread of false news and to promote high-quality journalism and news literacy.

Facebook has been in the eye of a storm ever since data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the personal information of millions of users through a game app. The data was allegedly used by the firm to influence, at times manipulate, voters' views at the behest of politicians.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg issued an apology for having failed to ensure that the the social networking site was foolproof. Facebook product manager Tessa Lyons said that her team had identified three major areas to focus on.

  • Remove accounts and content that violate our community standards or ad policies.
  • Reduce the distribution of false news and inauthentic content like click-bait.
  • Inform people by giving them more context on the posts they see.

In an article that Facebook put out on, Lyons claimed that this new approach will help people to "stay informed and diametrically reduce the reach of false stories.

Although false news does not violate our community standards, it often violates our policies in other categories, such as spam, hate speech or fake accounts, which we remove,” Lyons said.

Facebook, from now onwards, will suspend pages that are found to be concealing their real identities and operating out of non-native countries.

We’re also using machine learning to help our teams detect fraud and enforce our policies against spam. We now block millions of fake accounts every day when they try to register.
Tessa Lyons, Facebook Product Manager

Facebook said that it has started taking action against pages and websites that share fake news stories on a regular basis, thereby decreasing their news distribution.

"Another part of our strategy in some countries is partnering with third-party fact-checkers to review and rate the accuracy of articles and posts on Facebook," Lyons wrote.

Facebook is also taking steps to help the audience make an informed choice about what to "read, trust and share" for which the social networking site is investing in news literacy.

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