Face­book is us­ing a re­li­a­bil­ity score to stamp out trolls


APC Australia - - Tech Notes - Harry Do­man­ski

In Face­book’s on­go­ing fight with fake news, it em­ploys a num­ber of meth­ods to help weed out false­hoods from the truth, and now we know how the com­pany watches the watch­men. A Wash­ing­ton Post in­ves­ti­ga­tion has re­vealed that Face­book as­signs its users a rep­u­ta­tion score be­tween 0 and 1. When a user flags a post as con­tain­ing false news, their score is ad­justed based on the ve­rac­ity of this tip. So, for users who con­sis­tently flag posts that gen­uinely con­tain fake news, their score will rise and Face­book will lend their fu­ture tips more weight, whereas the op­po­site is true of those that con­tin­u­ously re­port le­git­i­mate news. The score has been in­tro­duced to com­bat the grow­ing prob­lem known as ‘brigad­ing’, which sees or­gan­ised groups of trolls or po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists de­lib­er­ately flag posts in the hopes to sup­press or cen­sor them. At present, this is strictly an in­ter­nal mea­sure and there is no way for users to check their rep­u­ta­tion score, a pre­cau­tion likely put in place to avoid any fur­ther gam­ing of Face­book’s sys­tems to drive per­sonal or po­lit­i­cal agen­das.

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