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September 23, 2018

Facebook unveils tools to flush out fake news

A Facebook page is displayed on a computer screen in Brussels April 21, 2010. FILE
A Facebook page is displayed on a computer screen in Brussels April 21, 2010. FILE

Facebook has said it will introduce tools to prevent fake news stories from spreading on its platform.

This is in response to rising criticism that it did not do enough to combat the problem during the US presidential campaign in November.

Critics said fake news often was more widely read than news reported by major media organisations.

"The effort by Facebook is intended to focus on the "worst of the worst" of clear hoaxes created by "spammers for their own gain," Adam Mosseri, Facebook's vice president in charge of its News Feed, said in a blog post on Thursday.

The social media network has faced complaints this year involving how it monitors and polices 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.

It will work with organisations such as fact-checking website Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to check the authenticity of stories.

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

Facebook has struggled throughout the year to mollify conservatives who fear the company may be censoring them.

 

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