Facebook Tackles Fake News

Facebook has outlined some of the first steps it is taking to address the issue of fake news and hoaxes, which can spread like wildfires on social media platforms.

In a blog post Thursday (Dec. 15) , Adam Mosseri, VP, news feed, for Facebook said its efforts fell into four basic areas:

1. Easier reporting (if you see something fake, say something);

2. Flagging stories. Facebook will work with third parties that have signed onto the Poynter Institutes Fact Checking Code of Principles. (http://www.poynter.org/fact-checkers-code-of-principles/), sending them stories that have been flagged.

3. Informed sharing. It will test including a signal for stories that are significantly less likely to be shared after they are read, in case there is a correlation with fake news.

4. Disrupting financial incentives for spammers. Checking sites to see if they are enforcing policies and eliminating the ability to spoof domains.

"It’s important to us that the stories you see on Facebook are authentic and meaningful," he said. But he also said they needed to be careful and that said Facebook was focusing its efforts on "the worst of the worst" because "[w]e believe in giving people a voice.... [W]e cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.