Facebook has announced its latest effort to crack down on false news stories posted user streams. The social network has upped its ante in the battle against ‘fake news’.
The social network says that it’s partnering with fact-checking organisation Africa Check and French news agency AFP to assess the accuracy of news stories posted on the site. The fact-checking program was launched in Kenya yesterday and in South Africa today, but Facebook says it will be soon spreading to other African countries.
Under this initiative, if a story is found to be “fake news” (or as Facebook seems to be rebranding it, “false news”), Facebook will demote it in its feed and issue a warning to any users posting the story again. Facebook group admins will also be warned if their users post false news in their group.
On top of that Facebook will share a fact-check on the story below any story flagged as false news as well as related stories, compiled by its partners.
It’s a move that Facebook hopes will stem the tide of misinformation that has been appearing on its user feeds for quite some time now. The social media site has been under fire for the last couple of years with critics citing the spread of false information being instrumental in influencing the outcomes of both the United States elections and the Brexit referendum in the UK.
Emilar Gandhi, Facebook Public Policy Manager for the SADC, said: “We’re committed to South Africa, and take our responsibility seriously in tackling the spread of false news, and helping to improve the quality of information people find on our platform.”
Source: The Citizen