In a move to counter the rising prevalence of fake news and misinformation, Facebook has decided to stop pages that share fake news regularly from buying any ads from the company.
Facebook is working in collaboration with fact-checkers like Snopes and AP to detect stories that are outright hoaxes and lies.
Facebook says that when a story is marked as disputed, the link can no longer be promoted through Facebook ads. The next step involves stopping pages that regularly share these stories from buying any Facebook ads altogether, regardless of whether or not the ad includes a disputed link.
This is one of the many steps the social media giant has taken since last year after it was criticised for its role in enabling the spread of fake news during the US presidential elections. Since then, Facebook has been trying to improve its actions against fake news.
A lot of you have asked what we're doing about misinformation, so I wanted to give an update.The bottom line is: we…
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, November 18, 2016
Product director at Facebook Rob Leathern told TechCrunch, “Facebook has been trying to fight back in three ways-ending the economic incentive to post False news stories, slowing the spread of those stories and helping people make more informed decisions when they see a false story.”
Facebook is not specifying the exact numbers of disputed links a page can share before it gets blocked.
According to Facebook, the ban on buying ads is not necessarily permanent. “If a page stops sharing false stories, it should eventually be able to buy ads again,” Leathern said.
Fake news is everywhere, created by propagandists and shared by susceptible people. It has diluted our national conversation. In the digital age, every piece of information we read or watch needs to be cross-checked.
Fake news is dangerous to democracy. If the information is corrupted, the national debate is diluted, and democracy is weakened. The viral nature of fake news has established a culture of lies and misinformation which continues to grow unchecked.
The Logical Indian requests the readers to be vigilant and treat the stories they read online with caution. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we share. Let us aim to end the propagation of misleading information altogether.