Facebook said on Thursday that it now fact-checks videos and photos in an attempt to clamp down on fake news and hoax stories on its platform.
On a press call with reporters, Tessa Lyons, a product manager at Facebook, did not elaborate on how the company would determine what types of videos and pictures are fake.
Facebook’s new efforts to preemptively assess the validity of photos and video come amid rising concerns of doctored videos which are becoming increasingly difficult to discern from real ones. The rise of counterfeit video technology has prompted a response from concerned lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“I’m much more worried about what could come next — could bad actors target kids with fake videos from people they trust?” Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerWe are America's independent contractors, and we are terrified Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two Senate Judiciary Committee to debate key antitrust bill MORE (D-Va.) asked during an event in February addressing the dangers technology can pose for children.
Lyons said on Thursday that the new fact-checking is a part of “efforts to fight false news around elections.”
On the call, other Facebook officials reiterated steps the company is taking to secure its platform from actors seeking to use it to influence elections and to stop the spread of fake news stories.
Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s product manager for civic engagement, explained that the company is also taking other steps like proactively looking for political misinformation instead of waiting for Facebook users to report it.
“This proactive approach has allowed us to move more quickly and has become a really important way for us to prevent divisive or misleading memes from going viral,” said Chakrabarti.