Technology

Zuckerberg outlines Facebook's plan to fight fake news

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday shared his company's strategy to combat fake news articles that go viral.

After accusations that fake news stories on Facebook influenced the presidential election, Zuckerberg listed new features in development and weighed in on the nature of the problem itself. 

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg wrote that the social network is developing tools that include stronger detection of fake stories, easier ways to flag and report false content, improved third-party verification and better related content.

 

Facebook is developing a warning feature that will alert the readers of a potentially false news article, Zuckerberg said. Facebook will also disrupt "fake news economics" in order to discourage "financially motivated spam."

 

Zuckerberg said his team has been working hard on addressing the issue and added that Facebook has traditionally relied on the community for flagging content that is false or misleading.

"Historically, we have relied on our community to help us understand what is fake and what is not. Anyone on Facebook can report any link as false, and we use signals from those reports along with a number of others - like people sharing links to myth-busting sites such as Snopes - to understand which stories we can confidently classify as misinformation. Similar to clickbait, spam and scams, we penalize this content in News Feed so it's much less likely to spread," he wrote.

 

Zuckerberg said content regulation is complicated, not just in terms of what's possible but what's right. 

 

"The problems here are complex, both technically and philosophically. We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible. We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or mistakenly restricting accurate content. We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties," he wrote.

 

Zuckerberg concluded by assuring Facebook users that he takes the matter very seriously, adding that "we are committed to getting this right."

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