Facebook Expanding Fact-Checking Project to Combat Fake News
Facebook is taking some more steps to stop the plague of fake news on its platform.
The social networking giant said Thursday that it’s fact-checking project it debuted in spring now covers 14 countries and is using machine-learning technology to eliminate fake news stories that have been duplicated and spread to its users.
Facebook’s (FB) fact-checking project involves enlisting the help of third-party publishers to help it validate whether news articles that are distributed on the social network contain fake or misleading information. The social network, like Twitter and Google’s YouTube, have come under fire for failing to stop the spread of propaganda and knowingly misleading information on their services in prelude to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In the United States, for example, the Associated Press, Factcheck.org, PolitiFact, and conservative politics magazine the Weekly Standard are the organizations that Facebook has enlisted to debunk fake news, especially during the lead up to upcoming elections.
In France, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news service is helping scrub news stories, photos, and videos for misleading information. Fact-checking service Boom is screening for content in India, media outlet Consejo de Redaccion is checking news in Columbia, and fact-checking group Pagella Politica is looking for fake news in Italia, according to a Facebook list of media partners.
Tessa Lyons, a Facebook product manager, said in a blog post that Facebook’s machine-learning tech is helping to automatically weed out cloned fake news stories that have already been proven untrue.
“For example, a fact-checker in France debunked the claim that you can save a person having a stroke by using a needle to prick their finger and draw blood,” Lyons wrote. “This allowed us to identify over 20 domains and over 1,400 links spreading that same claim.”
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The company has also started to use those machine-learning techniques to identify and “demote” foreign Facebook pages that are spreading fake information. Facebook did not say whether it intends to ban Facebook pages that continuously spread false information and facts.