Facebook ties up with BOOM to start pilot against fake news
Social networking giant Facebook is introducing a thirdparty fact-checking programme in India to combat the spread of “false news” on its platform, starting with a pilot in Karnataka, which goes to polls next month.
Facebook said it had partnered with BOOM, an independent digital journalism initiative certified through the International Fact- Checking Network, for a pilot in Karnataka, where assembly elections will be held on May 12.
In a blogpost on Monday, the US social networking giant said the programme in India aims “to fight the spread of false news on our platform”. BOOM will review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy, it said.
Facebook is running similar initiatives in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines and the US. Over the last few weeks, Facebook has drawn intense criticism from users and governments globally over a number of issues, ranging from false news on the platform to information of over 80 million users being mined by data analytics and political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica.
The Indian government had also questioned both the companies on the impact of the data breach. Facebook had admitted that nearly 562,000 people in India were “potentially affected” by the incident.
Testifying before the US Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said his organisation was committed to ensure integrity of elections across the world, including India. In its blogpost, the company said it believes that “once a story is rated as false, we have been able to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent, and thereby, improve accuracy of information on Facebook and reduce misinformation”.
Facebook has already stated that it will use reports from community along with other signals to send stories to factchecking organisations. “We are beginning small and know it is important to learn from this test and listen to our community as we continue to update ways for people to understand what might be false news in their News Feed,” it said.