After a public outcry that called for Facebook to do something about the fake news epidemic, the multi-billion dollar company finally accounced new steps it will take to combat the viral stories.
The plan includes features that allow users to flag fake news stories, and they will be collaborating with Poynter Institute to make it happen.
The Poynter Institude is a highly regarded journalistic organization that will act as a neutral mediator in order to investigate claims of fake news independently.
Facebook revealed a plan to collaborate with the respected institute in order to make sure the spread of fake news can be curbed.
The plan will rely heavily on users to flag news stories they believe are fake within the platform. Currently, there is already an option for users to flag posts, but the corporation will continue to experiment with different ways to make the flagging system more useful.
As posts are flagged, that is where Poynter gets involved.
Poynter has, since 2015, used fact-checkers from all over the globe to participate in a program called International Fact Checking Code of Principals.
Facebook stated that user flags in addition to “other signals” which were not specified will be the incdicators that refer certain articles to the institute.
If Poynter determines that the story is in fact fake, it will be marked with in indication to let users know that the story is being disputed. While the story will remain on Facebook, its credibility will be in question to users.
These specific stories will appear lower on users’ newsfeeds and cannot be promoted through Facebook’s advertising system.
They will also carry warnings telling users the story is not to be taken entirely seriously.
“We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully. We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst,” said Facebook’s vice president of News Feed, Adam Mosseri.