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Facebook Rolls Out Fact-Checking News In Karnataka

Facebook announces fact-checking news in the poll-bound Karnataka

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Facebook unveils new VR headset 'Oculus Quest'. Pixabay
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With Karnataka heading for the polls in May, Facebook has announced a third-party fact-checking programme in the state to fight spread of fake news on its platform.

The social media giant on Tuesday partnered with BOOM, an independent digital journalism initiative, for a pilot programme that will first roll out in the southern state.

Karnataka goes to election on May 12, and the counting of votes will take place on May 15.

Vote poll in Karnataka
Vote Poll. Pixabay

“Starting today, BOOM, certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, non-partisan international fact checking network at Poynter, will be able to review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook has 217 million monthly active users in India.

“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 added.

Once a story is rated as false, Facebook has learned to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent.

Also Read: Want To Know What Facebook, Google Know About You?

“When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. This, in turn, stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it,” Facebook said.

Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetise and advertise removed.

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Facebook. Pixabay

If the third-party fact-checkers write articles debunking a false news story, Facebook will show it in “Related Articles” immediately below the story in News Feed.

“We’ll also send people and Page Admins notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false,” Facebook noted.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it is important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

Also Read: Facebook clarifies how it collects data when you’re logged out

“Our goals are to understand Facebook’s impact on upcoming elections — like Brazil, India, Mexico and the US midterms — and to inform our future product and policy decisions,” he said while testifying before the US Congress last week.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he told a panel of 44 Senators.

Zuckerberg said Facebook will ensure that its platform is not misused to influence elections in India and elsewhere.  IANS

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Facebook Allows French Regulars To Oversee Hate Speech Control

France's use of embedded regulators is modeled on what happens in its banking and nuclear industries.

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A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

Facebook will allow French regulators to “embed” inside the company to examine how it combats online hate speech, the first time the wary tech giant has opened its doors in such a way, President Emmanuel Macron said Monday.

From January, Macron’s administration will send a small team of senior civil servants to the company for six months to verify Facebook’s goodwill and determine whether its checks on racist, sexist or hate-fueled speech could be improved.

“It’s a first,” Macron told the annual Internet Governance Forum in Paris. “I’m delighted by this very innovative experimental approach,” he said. “It’s an experiment, but a very important first step in my view.”

The trial project is an example of what Macron has called “smart regulation,” something he wants to extend to other tech leaders such as Google, Apple and Amazon.

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Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg meets with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace after the “Tech for Good” summit, in Paris, France. VOA

The move follows a meeting with Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg in May, when Macron invited the CEOs of some of the biggest tech firms to Paris, telling them they should work for the common good.

The officials may be seconded from the telecoms regulator and the interior and justice ministries, a government source said. Facebook said the selection was up to the French presidency.

It is unclear whether the group will have access to highly-sensitive material such as Facebook’s algorithms or codes to remove hate speech. It could travel to Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin and global base in Menlo Park, California, if necessary, the company said.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“The best way to ensure that any regulation is smart and works for people is by governments, regulators and businesses working together to learn from each other and explore ideas,” Nick Clegg, the former British deputy prime minister who is now head of Facebook’s global affairs, said in a statement.

France’s approach to hate speech has contrasted sharply with Germany, Europe’s leading advocate of privacy.

Also Read: Online Hate Thriving Even After The Recent Hate Crime in The U.S.

Since January, Berlin has required sites to remove banned content within 24 hours or face fines of up to 50 million euros ($56 million). That has led to accusations of censorship.

France’s use of embedded regulators is modeled on what happens in its banking and nuclear industries.

“[Tech companies] now have the choice between something that is smart but intrusive and regulation that is wicked and plain stupid,” a French official said. (VOA)