Facebook to check its facts

funny-pictures-auto-news-france-387930After the fiasco of the US election which saw a candidate being elected on the basis of Russian supplied fake news, Facebook has decided to clamp down on the phenomena.

The social notworking site ¬†said it will implement new measures to combat the so-called fake news and lies spreading via its platform.¬†Facebook was used for circulation by fraudulent “news” sites, whose operators posted false headlines that were shared widely, driving web traffic and generating ad dollars. But they were also fooling unintelligent people who believe in bizarre conspiracies and think the word “libtard” is amusing

Now Facebook has a plan to cut off phony sites masquerading as news sources and to clearly label fake news. In the process, it might help restore programmatic ad revenue to legitimate publishers that have seen marketing dollars siphoned off by bogus sites.

Facebook is deputizing reputable, third-party fact-checking sites to label posts as “disputed,” a warning that will appear prominently in the Facebook feed and pop up when someone tries to share the post. The fact-check organizations include Snopes, FactCheck.org and Politifact, which are part of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network.

Adam Mosseri’s, Facebook’s VP of product for News Feed said that the fact checking will provide more context can help people decide for themselves what to trust and what to share.

“It will still be possible to share these stories, but you will see a warning that the story has been disputed as you share.”

The process for flagging fake news starts with Facebook’s everyday users, who will be able to report any posts they consider suspicious. Once flagged, independent fact-checkers will determine whether it deserves the “disputed” tag or not.

Facebook also is going after the money that funds the fake news. Facebook said it will shut down links to spam websites, which often use spoof domain names that sound like reputable news sources. When people click on the “spoof” domains they mistakenly go to sites that are covered in ads and fake news.

“We’ve found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated. Spammers make money by masquerading as well-known news organizations, and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to their sites, which are often mostly ads.”

Ad technology has been blamed for helping fake news. During the election BuzzFeed uncovered overseas schemes with people making money by hosting websites filled with outrageous stories and driving traffic to them through Facebook.