Facebook is rating its users' trustworthiness in battle against false news

Facebook is rating its users' trustworthiness in battle against false news
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Facebook has begun rating the credibility of its users as part of its effort to weed out the spread of false information on the platform.

Tessa Lyons, a Facebook product manager leading that effort, told The Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday that rating the trustworthiness of users will help Facebook determine whether they are flagging potentially false information in good faith.

It’s “not uncommon for people to tell us something is false simply because they disagree with the premise of a story or they’re intentionally trying to target a particular publisher,” Lyons told the Post.

The platform is rating users’ trustworthiness on a scale from zero to one. The move comes after Facebook revealed earlier this year that it would begin rating news outlets for the same quality, in part based on users’ evaluations.

Lyons said that the latest move will assist them in their efforts to fact check and promote more credible news sources.

“One of the signals we use is how people interact with articles,” Lyons told the Post. “For example, if someone previously gave us feedback that an article was false and the article was confirmed false by a fact-checker, then we might weight that person’s future false news feedback more than someone who indiscriminately provides false news feedback on lots of articles, including ones that end up being rated as true.”

“I like to make the joke that, if people only reported things that were false, this job would be so easy!” she added. “People often report things that they just disagree with.”