Date
16 October 2018
Facebook has teamed up with an independent digital journalism initiative in India to curb the menace of fake news stories. Photo: Reuters
Facebook has teamed up with an independent digital journalism initiative in India to curb the menace of fake news stories. Photo: Reuters

Facebook rolls out program in India to curb fake news

Facebook is rolling out a fact-checking program in India to ensure the authenticity of news stories circulated on its platform.

The social media giant has teamed up with an independent digital journalism initiative, BOOM, as it seeks to combat the spread of false news stories on the platform, The Verge reports.

Facebook has begun the trial in the south Indian state of Karnataka, which will witness a key electoral battle next month.

The social media platform will be able to review news stories written in English flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy.

According to a blog post from the company, it works in this way: when a fact-checker rates a story as false, Facebook will display it lower in News Feed, substantially lessening its distribution. This in turn prevents the hoax from circulating and slashes the number of users who see it.

Pages and domains which continuously share false news will see their reach become less, and suffer in terms of their ability to monetize or run ads. This helps control the spread of “financially motivated” false news.

Facebook wants users to decide for themselves what to “read, trust, and share” by offering the community “more information and control”.

If third-party fact-checkers produce articles which debunk a false news story, this will be quickly displayed in Related Articles below the story in News Feed.

It will deliver notifications to users and page administers if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past which has been found false.

The social media company said in the blog post that it will keep updating “ways for people to understand what might be false news in their News Feed”.

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JC/RC

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