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Facebook Unveils Three-pronged Strategy to Fight Fake News

Apart from this, Facebook is also using machine learning to help its teams detect fraud and enforce its policies against spam

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To stop false news from spreading on its platform, Facebook has said it put in place a three-pronged strategy that constitutes removing accounts and content that violate its policies, reducing distribution of inauthentic content and informing people by giving them more context on the posts they see.

Another part of its strategy in some countries is partnering with third-party fact-checkers to review and rate the accuracy of articles and posts on Facebook, Tessa Lyons, a Facebook product manager on News Feed focused on false news, said in a statement on Thursday.

The social media giant is facing criticism for its role in enabling political manipulation in several countries around the world. It has also come under the scanner for allegedly fuelling ethnic conflicts owing to its failure stop the deluge of hate-filled posts against the disenfranchised Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“False news is bad for people and bad for Facebook. We’re making significant investments to stop it from spreading and to promote high-quality journalism and news literacy,” Lyons said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday told the European Parliament leaders that the social networking giant is trying to plug loopholes across its services, including curbing fake news and political interference on its platform in the wake of upcoming elections globally, including in India.

Lyons said Facebook’s three-pronged strategy roots out the bad actors that frequently spread fake stories.

Also Read: Facebook Planning to Increase Their Capability Through Smartphones

“It dramatically decreases the reach of those stories. And it helps people stay informed without stifling public discourse,” Lyons added.

Although false news does not violate Facebook’s Community Standards, it often violates the social network’s polices in other categories, such as spam, hate speech or fake accounts, which it removes remove.

“For example, if we find a Facebook Page pretending to be run by Americans that’s actually operating out of Macedonia, that violates our requirement that people use their real identities and not impersonate others. So we’ll take down that whole Page, immediately eliminating any posts they made that might have been false,” Lyons explained.

Lyons said Facebook's three-pronged strategy roots out the bad actors that frequently spread fake stories.
Lyons said Facebook’s three-pronged strategy roots out the bad actors that frequently spread fake stories. Pixabay

Apart from this, Facebook is also using machine learning to help its teams detect fraud and enforce its policies against spam.

“We now block millions of fake accounts every day when they try to register,” Lyons added.

A lot of the misinformation that spreads on Facebook is financially motivated, much like email spam in the 90s, the social network said.

If spammers can get enough people to click on fake stories and visit their sites, they will make money off the ads they show.

Also Read: Facebook Lets Advertisers Target Users Based on Sensitive Interests

“We’re figuring out spammers’ common tactics and reducing the distribution of those kinds of stories in News Feed. We’ve started penalizing clickbait, links shared more frequently by spammers, and links to low-quality web pages, also known as ‘ad farms’,” Lyons said.

“We also take action against entire Pages and websites that repeatedly share false news, reducing their overall News Feed distribution,” Lyons said.

Facebook said it does not want to make money off of misinformation or help those who create it profit, and so such publishers are not allowed to run ads or use its monetisation features like Instant Articles. (IANS)

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Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups

The group quickly became an active community for helping tens of thousands of people across the world to reduce clutter in their spaces

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Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups
Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups. Pixabay

Facebook will soon let group administrators charge members for providing exclusive content on its platform.

Parenting, cooking and home cleaning private groups on the social networking platform will be the first ones to access the new feature as part of a pilot programme.

“We’re piloting subscriptions with a small number of groups to continue to support group admins who lead these communities,” Alex Deve, Product Director, Groups at Facebook, said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Subscription groups align with the experience that Facebook made available to support video creators earlier in 2018.

Sarah Mueller started a group called “Declutter My Home” on Facebook as a way to inspire and motivate others to tidy up their apartment or house.

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Representational image. Pixabay

The group quickly became an active community for helping tens of thousands of people across the world to reduce clutter in their spaces.

“With her new subscription group, ‘Organise My Home’, members will be able to work together on bite-sized projects, and have access to easily actionable checklists, tutorials, live videos and more to help with home organisation,” Facebook said.

“With the new ‘Organize My Home’ subscription group, I will be able to provide this new community with more interactive ways to having an organised home like mini-projects, group challenges, training, and live Q&A,” Mueller noted.

Also Read: Facebook rolls Out Several Monetisation Products

According to a report in The Next Web, group administrators will be able to charge up to $29.99 (monthly) during the pilot.

“For now, Facebook won’t be collecting a cut of the subscription fees,” the report added.

For members, they are now able to sign-up and manage their subscription through the Facebook app for iOS and Android. (IANS)