Facebook, the social media giant, is making some modifications to check the spread of fake news for its users. It will stop flagging content that’s been declared false by its third-party fact checkers, and its users will instead see related articles or links to content from reputable publishers in the News Feed. Facebook has also taken up a new initiative to understand how people judge the accuracy of information based on news sources they use, which won’t result in any immediate changes to the News Feed but will help the company see how well its efforts to stop the spread of fake news are working.
In an announcement, Tessa Lyons, Facebook product manager, said, “Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs – the opposite effect to what we intended.” She also mentioned, “Related Articles, by contrast, are simply designed to give more contexts, which our research has shown is a more effective way to help people get to the facts. Indeed, we’ve found that when we show Related Articles next to a false news story, it leads to fewer shares than when the Disputed Flag is shown.”
Facebook is also planning to tackle misinformation in the form of photos and videos on its platform surfacing a fact check as a piece of related content to a meme is more feasible than applying a disputed flag.
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