Facebook Is Trying To Eliminate Hoaxes From News Feeds

Facebook is striving to promote positive user experiences. One of their initiatives is to eliminate posts that people report as hoaxes. Reported posts would be flagged with a warning message and ultimately such posts would be subject to limited distribution across the social network.

The social network is aiming to considerably decrease the spreading of false information and thus they hope that fewer of these hoaxes would be displayed on users’ News Feeds. Facebook would not get involved in attempts to check or debunk stories posted, that might be too time consuming and require a lot of resources. The site will instead rely on the feedback of users. An option was recently added to the site enabling users to report false stories.

If an adequate amount of users mark a story as being false, a message would be displayed along with the post warning users that the story may contain false information. Such posts would also have a reduction in distribution across the site’s network and in News Feeds. While testing this feature Facebook found that stories of satirical content intended for humor rather than misinformation of users would be spared by the system. Testers of the system did not report stories from sites such as The Onion as being false, since the contents are clearly labeled as being satire.

Since last year, Facebook has experimented with a specific “Satire” tag that pertained to stories from satirical sites, namely The Onion. The tags were visible only in the related items section in users’ News Feed.

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