Facebook has come under fire for the spread of fake news enabled by its platform in recent months. The firm had announced a series of initiatives around the world to promote more accurate journalism. Today, the company is working on improving the accuracy of news shared on its platform in India. The firm will be partnering with BOOM, an independent third-party agency verified by the International Fact-Checking network which will be reviewing English articles and rating their accuracy.
"We have learned that once a story is rated as false, we have been able to reduce its distribution by 80%, and thereby improve the accuracy of information on Facebook and reduce misinformation." The firm explained in a blog post, " We are beginning small and know it is important to learn from this test and listen to our community as we continue to update ways for people to understand what might be false news in their News Feed."
Posts which are verified as "false" will be ranked poorly in the newsfeed and appear towards the bottom, which Facebook believes will reduce the spread of hoaxes and fake news. As for pages which repeatedly spread such hoaxes, the firm will be removing their ability to advertise and monetize, as well as curbing their distribution to ensure that there is no financial gain.
Facebook will notify users and page admins if they have shared an article deemed to be false. It will also highlight debunked articles by posting refutations by third-party independent journalists under the related articles carousel.
Facebook is running this as part of a pilot program in the state of Karnataka and will decide what to do next depending on results.