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Facebook Addresses Hoaxes and Fake News, Relies on Crowdsourcing and Fact-Checkers

Update Date: Dec 17, 2016 08:35 AM EST

Fake news stories spread as quickly as the authentic ones according to President Barack Obama. That is the reason why Facebook adds tool where the hoaxes can now be flagged and reported.

After Obama shared his worries on the rampage of hoaxes, the famous social media platform got criticized for its trending topics, The Social Media Observer said. Fake news such as Clinton selling weapons to ISIS and Trump being endorsed by the pope did rounds on the page and appeared to be real, getting more likes, comments and shares compared to those news that have basis and authenticity. 

After the controversy spread, Facebook now gets serious over these baseless and pretentious stories and is now relying on crowdsourcing. Users can now use the new Facebook tool where they have the option to mark the post as fake news or message the one who posted it. Blocking the user who posted the story is another option, but it's clearly a choice as most people do not resort to it especially when it is done by someone they know.

Rooting out fake news is essentially solving the problem. When users flag stories, third party fact-checkers will review it following the code developed by the Poynter Institute, a non-profit training center for journalism. The New York Times reported groups including Snopes, PolitiFact, The Associated Press, and ABC News will do the fact-checking.

Fake news will be labeled "Disputed by 3rd Party Fact-Checkers" and will come with a link that contains the explanation, Facebook said, InfoWorld reported. When this happens, disputed news will appear lower in News Feed and the publisher cannot promote it. However, users can still choose to share the post and ignore the alert warning that will pop up after attempting to share the sham. 

The company also announced that it had removed the ability to spoof domain names to avoid masquerading like real publications. It vows to combat the spammers for as long as it takes to make sure Facebook greatly impacts positively. 

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