Face­book seeks to check the spread of fake news

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

BERLIN: Face­book is to send more po­ten­tial hoax ar­ti­cles to third-party fact check­ers and show their find­ings be­low the orig­i­nal post, the world’s largest on­line so­cial net­work said this week as it tries to com­bat fake news.

The com­pany said on its web­site it would start us­ing up­dated ma­chine learn­ing to de­tect pos­si­ble hoaxes.

Face­book has been crit­i­cised as be­ing one of the main dis­tri­bu­tion points for fake news, which many think in­flu­enced last year’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in the US.

The is­sue has also become a big po­lit­i­cal topic in Europe, with French vot­ers del­uged with false sto­ries be­fore the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in May and Ger­many back­ing a plan to fine so­cial me­dia net­works if they failed to re­move hate­ful post­ings promptly, ahead of elec­tions there next month.

On Thurs­day, Face­book said a test of the new fact-check­ing feature was be­ing launched in the US, France, the Nether­lands and Ger­many.

“In ad­di­tion to see­ing which sto­ries are dis­puted by third­party fact- check­ers, peo­ple want more con­text to make in­formed de­ci­sions about what they read and share,” said Sara Su, Face­book’s news feed prod­uct man­ager.

She added Face­book would keep test­ing its “re­lated ar­ti­cle” feature and work on other changes to its news feed to cut down on false news. – Reuters

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