Facebook is to double down on its practice of forwarding suspect news item to third-party fact checkers, who will be able to display their own take on events below the dubious article, as it ramps up efforts to tackle ‘fake news’.
The social network will make use of a new and improved machine learning algorithm as its first line of defence, capable of flagging up articles which bear all the hallmarks of being agenda driven to be reviewed further by human fact checkers.
Facebook has been stung by criticism that its laissez faire approach to the issue contributed to the rise of Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential election but it has now become an international issue with government’s such as Germany now fearing undue political interference from unfriendly states such as Russia.
Alerting readers to the new policy in a blog post Sara Su, Facebook news feed product manager, wrote: "In addition to seeing which stories are disputed by third-party fact checkers, people want more context to make informed decisions about what they read and share.”
Facebook will begin testing its new fact checking functionality in the US, France, Holland and Germany.