TECH

Mark Zuckerberg Has Revealed How Facebook Will Tackle Fake News

Some users think misinformation could have swung the US election.

21/11/2016 15:01 | Updated 21 November 2016

Mark Zuckerberg has outlined new measures to curb fake news on Facebook.

The announcement comes after the site’s CEO was criticised for dismissing as “crazy” claims that misinformation might have swung the US election.

Barack Obama joined the debate last week, warning that online propaganda masquerading as news posed a threat to democracy.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook already suppresses content reported by users as fake, but said “there was more work to be done”.

The measures will make it easier for users and fact checkers to report fake content. Zuckerberg has stressed that he doesn’t want the platform to become “an arbiter of truth”. 

Stephen Lam / Reuters

In an attempt to aid feedback, developers are looking to refine reporting tools to make it easier to flag misinformation. Developers are also working on ways to help algorithms predict which articles people will flag, Zuckerberg said.

Labelling content which has been identified as false is one way the site will attempt to stem the tide of misinformation. Another is stripping rogue publishers of the financial incentive to publish fake news.

Last week Facebook updated its ads policy to clarify that fake news sites could not participate its Audience Network. Zuckerberg said the site would consider more measures of this kind.

Zuckerberg conceded that some of the proposed measures would not work, but stressed that the firm is committed to getting it right.

A BuzzFeed analysis published last week revealed that fake news out performed real news on Facebook in the three months before the US election.

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