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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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Facebook tightens noose around fake accounts. Pixabay
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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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Report: Google, Facebook Make Ad Firms Suffer On Dominating Digital Dollars

Search engines such as Google will lose some of their appeal for shopping as Amazon and other retail websites gain favour and advertiser dollars over the next few years

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Ad firms suffer as Google, Facebook dominate digital dollars. Pixabay

The dominance of Google and Facebook of digital advertising has led to the number of independent and smaller ad tech companies falling 21 per cent since 2013 to 185 in the second quarter of 2018, the media reported.

According to a report in The New York Times on Sunday, venture capital money going into ad-tech start-ups is falling sharply.

“Online advertising companies have struggled for several years as Google and Facebook solidified their grip on digital dollars, slowing revenue for the others,” added the report, citing global marketing research firms including LUMA Partners.

While spending for online ads was more than $88 billion last year, over 90 per cent of that went to Google or Facebook.

“Amazon is also making inroads into advertising, with a new advertising arm, raising the possibility that it will become a top competitor,” said the report.

The company generated $2.2 billion in revenue from its advertising business in the second quarter this year.

Facebook
While spending for online ads was more than $88 billion last year, over 90 per cent of that went to Google or Facebook. Pixabay

While Facebook had been predicting its ad revenue to decelerate in 2017, it actually saw a strong growth of 48.8 per cent.

According to a recent Forrester report, brands will invest 55 per cent more in digital marketing by 2023.

“Search engines such as Google will lose some of their appeal for shopping as Amazon and other retail websites gain favour and advertiser dollars over the next few years,” said Forrester.

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The move signifies a shift in the way consumer shopping habits continue to change as they are headed toward Amazon and retail websites for shopping and toward Google and Bing for answers to questions.

“The shift gives Amazon a reason to strengthen its search features — text and voice — for organic traffic, as well as its search advertising platform,” said the report. (IANS)