Year of Scam , Facebook takes measures
A few weeks ago we previewed some of the
things we're working on to address the issue of
fake news and hoaxes. We're committed to doing
our part and today we'd like to share some
updates we're testing and starting to roll out.
We believe in giving people a voice and that we
cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so
we're approaching this problem carefully. We've
focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on
the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their
own gain, and on engaging both our community
and third party organizations.
The work falls into the following four areas.
These are just some of the first steps we're
taking to improve the experience for people on
Facebook. We'll learn from these tests, and
iterate and extend them over time.
We're testing several ways to make it easier to
report a hoax if you see one on Facebook, which
you can do by clicking the upper right hand
corner of a post. We've relied heavily on our
community for help on this issue, and this can
help us detect more fake news.
Flagging Stories as Disputed
We believe providing more context can help
people decide for themselves what to trust and
what to share. We've started a program to work
with third-party fact checking organizations that
are signatories of Poynter's International Fact
Checking Code of Principles. We'll use the
reports from our community, along with other
signals, to send stories to these organizations. If
the fact checking organizations identify a story
as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there
will be a link to the corresponding article
explaining why. Stories that have been disputed
may also appear lower in News Feed.
It will still be possible to share these stories, but
you will see a warning that the story has been
disputed as you share.
Once a story is flagged, it can't be made into an
ad and promoted, either.
We're always looking to improve News Feed by
listening to what the community is telling us.
We've found that if reading an article makes
people significantly less likely to share it, that
may be a sign that a story has misled people in
some way. We're going to test incorporating this
signal into ranking, specifically for articles that
are outliers, where people who read the article
are significantly less likely to share it.
Disrupting Financial Incentives for Spammers
We've found that a lot of fake news is financially
motivated. Spammers make money by
masquerading as well-known news organizations,
and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to
their sites, which are often mostly ads. So we're
doing several things to reduce the financial
incentives. On the buying side we've eliminated
the ability to spoof domains, which will reduce
the prevalence of sites that pretend to be real
publications. On the publisher side, we are
analyzing publisher sites to detect where policy
enforcement actions might be necessary.
It's important to us that the stories you see on
Facebook are authentic and meaningful. We're
excited about this progress, but we know there's
more to be done. We're going to keep working on
this problem for as long as it takes to get it