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Facebook Introduces New Initiatives in its Fight Against Fake News

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Facebook has increased its efforts in fighting fake news and spam by enhancing its machine learning capabilities and using new techniques of checking the content published on the platform.

Facebook today announced in a press release that it’s introducing a number of new updates as part of its work to combat fake news across the platform, including expanding its third-party fact-checking program.

The social media fact-checking program will be expanded to 14 new countries to increase the accuracy and reliability of published stories. Additionally, since misinformation influences different forms of content, Facebook will be fact-checking pictures and videos in four new countries.

Additionally, Facebook is testing new techniques in its fact-checking methodology, including using machine learning in helping identify duplicates of debunked stories. “For example, a fact-checker in France debunked the claim that you can save a person having a stroke by using a needle to prick their finger and draw blood,” explains the press release. “This allowed us to identify over 20 domains and over 1,400 links spreading that same claim.”

“With more than a billion pieces of content posted every day, we know that fact-checkers can’t review every story one-by-one,” explains Tessa Lyons, Facebook’s product manager.

The social media giant is also partnering up with their fact-checking partners to use Schema.org’s Claim Review, “an open-source framework used by various technology companies and fact-checking organizations.” This will allow for fact-checkers to more easily share ratings with Facebook, making response time much quicker.

Repeat offenders are now in Facebook’s crosshairs, as it begins to use machine learning to “help identify and demote foreign Pages that are likely to spread financially-motivated hoaxes to people in other countries.” Pages that have repeatedly shared false news see reduced distribution in addition to the removal of their ability to monetize.

Lastly, Facebook is in the process of improving its measurement and transparency by partnering with academics, providing independent research about various roles social media has in the modern age, especially in regards to politics. Facebook is currently establishing an independent research commission centered around measuring the volume and effects of misinformation across the platform.

Facebook has certainly been on the chopping block recently in regards to fake news and its spread, so hopefully, these new updates allow for independent evidence of success. The social media giant still has a long way to go toward re-establishing public trust.

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