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Facebook Expands Fact-Checking Tools, Will Flag Photos and Videos

Facebook has also expanded its test to fact-check photos and videos to four countries

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Facebook said it has immediately required all trainers in Dublin to do a re-training session -- and is preparing to do the same globally.
Facebook said it has immediately required all trainers in Dublin to do a re-training session -- and is preparing to do the same globally. Pixabay
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Facebook has announced to expand its fact-checking programme to new countries that aims to fight spread of fake news on its platform.

The social media giant now has the fact-checking programme running in 14 countries and plans to scale to more countries by the end of the year.

“These certified, independent fact-checkers rate the accuracy of stories on Facebook, helping us reduce the distribution of stories rated as false by an average of 80 per cent,” Tessa Lyons, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday.

In India, Facebook already is in partnership with a Mumbai-based fact checking organisation called Boom.

Like other Facebook fact-checking partners, Boom is certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, a non-partisan international fact checking network at Poynter.

Facebook has also expanded its test to fact-check photos and videos to four countries.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app, Pixabay

“The test includes those that are manipulated (a video that is edited to show something that did not really happen) or taken out of context (a photo from a previous tragedy associated with a different, present day conflict),” the company said.

Machine learning is helping Facebook identify duplicates of debunked stories.

“We’re going to start working with our fact-checking partners to use Schema.orgas aClaim Review’, an open-source framework used by various technology companies and fact-checking organisations,” Lyons said.

To help curb foreign interference in public discourse, Facebook said it is going to use Machine Learning to help identify and demote foreign Pages that are likely to spread financially-motivated hoaxes to people in other countries.

Also Read: Facebook Launches Free Version of Enterprise Communications App Workplace For NGOs

In April, Facebook announced a new elections research commission to help provide independent research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally.

“We’re currently working with the commission to develop privacy-protected data sets, which will include a sample of links that people engage with on Facebook,” the company added. (IANS)

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Facebook Is Planning To launch It’s Own Satellite ‘ATHENA’

A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila's mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

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Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported. Pixabay

 As part of its plan to connect billions of people who are still offline, Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported.

According to an application Facebook appears to have filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the name PointView Tech LLC, the project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” the report said on Friday.

Facebook, however, is not alone in aiming to increase Internet accessibility through satellites in low Earth orbit. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Softbank-backed OneWeb are two other prominent names who have similar ambitions.

Facebook also confirmed that Athena is their project, according to the report in the WIRED.

“While we have nothing to share about specific projects at this time, we believe satellite technology will be an important enabler of the next generation of broadband infrastructure, making it possible to bring broadband connectivity to rural regions where Internet connectivity is lacking or non-existent,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement.

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The project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” the report said on Friday. Pixabay

While Facebook had long expressed its cherished goal of connecting billions of underserved people around the world, it has not had much success with two earlier projects.

In June, Facebook announced it decided to abandon its plan to develop high-flying solar-powered drones called Aquila that was aimed to deliver Internet to nearly four billion people in remote parts of the world.

A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila’s mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight.

The social network also discontinued in 2017 a small helicopter drone project that could temporarily replace cellular services in emergency situations, The Verge reported.

Also Read-Facebook’s Helicopter Drone Project Got Grounded: Report

The idea was to send a helicopter equipped with telecommunications equipment hundreds of metres up in the air to be able to tether to fibre and power lines in places where wireless capacity was compromised due to disaster or other factors. (IANS)