Facebook set to fact-check news stories

Facebook says it is determined to address the problem of fake news.
Facebook says it is determined to address the problem of fake news. Matt Rourke

FACEBOOK is to introduce tools to prevent fake news stories from spreading on its platform, following criticism it did not do enough to combat the problem during the lead-up to the US presidential election.

The social network company has faced controversies throughout the year involving its monitoring and policing of content produced by its 1.8 billion users.

Facebook said users will find it easier to flag fake articles on their news feed as a hoax, and Facebook will work with organisations, such as fact-checking website Snopes, to check the authenticity of stories.

If such organisations identify a story as fake, Facebook said it will be flagged as "disputed" and be linked to the corresponding article explaining why.

The company said disputed stories may appear lower in its news feed, adding once a story is flagged, it cannot be promoted.

But Facebook said it was "approaching this problem carefully".

"We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves," its news feed vice-president Adam Mosseri said.

It stressed the new features were part of an ongoing process to refine and test how it deals with fake news.

Topics:  facebook

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