To combat the spread of fake news, social media giants Facebook will be working with ABC News, Snopes, Politifact and the Associated Press, as well as other news organizations in a coalition to fact-check articles posted on the site. Facebook articles flagged as fake news will be denied access to Facebook ads, a popular viral spamming tactic purveyors use to attract traffic to third party websites and spread false news quickly.
Fake Third-Party Sites
Changes will only affect the spread of fake news. Sites that specialize in political satire, opinions, or anything else that cannot be easily classified will not be affected. Additionally, Facebook will be checking the authenticity of third party websites to see if they are masquerading as popular news sites. Sites full of adverts will also be ineligible to display Facebook ads on their home pages. Typically, fake news third party sites are full of cheap ads and fake news spreaders make more money when Facebook users click on the fake articles and are redirected to the websites.
Sharing of Facebook Posts
Articles that a lot of people read and do not share will be placed lower on the feeds. Usually, when people read good articles, they share. Facebook will use the read to sharing ratio of articles to flag poor quality or misleading articles. If users still insist on sharing the article, a reminder will pop up indicating that the credibility of that particular article is questionable.
The company is trying to work with many partners as it can to minimize the spread of fake news. Facebook is also a part of another coalition with major media and tech companies including CNN, New York Times, Google, and Twitter called the First Draft Coalition. The First Draft Coalition’s sole objective is to eliminate the spread of misleading news articles on the internet. Currently, Facebook has over 1.8 billion active users, with each of them spending about an hour daily on the site. The company will be looking to increase these numbers by fine-tuning the content so that people can easily find what they are looking for and visit regularly.