Facebook and other media outlets have taken quite a beating over the past few weeks in regards to fake news. In order to combat this issue, Facebook is taking on fake news by creating a fake news filter. This fake news filter is expected to be tested out, in Germany.
German political forces are arguing that the effect of fake news could reach this fall’s federal elections, reported The Verge. However, Germany is the perfect place to test out this new filter, as they have been subject to many fake news scams in the past. The Verge reported that Germany opened an investigation after Breitbart released a story stating that a mob set fire to a church on New Year’s Eve, which was false.
Tracking down fake news is going to be quite the task however. The Facebook fact checking system is set to operate by users reporting fake news stories, reported The Verge. All of those “fake” news stories will be sent to a nonprofit news organization in Berlin called Correctiv, to assess the factualness of the stories.
What is interesting about this new feature is how Facebook plans to handle the fake news that is caught red handed. If a story is found to be untrue, it then gets labeled as “disputed”. But, Facebook makes sure to show a reason as to why the news was disputed and will warn users before the information is shared.
What is also nice about this is that disputed items will show up lower on your Facebook News Feed, preventing you from viewing untrue statements right away. For now, the focus remains on Germany but Facebook also plans to launch this fact-checking feature in other countries as well. Thus far, German is urging Facebook to heavily police not only fake news but also hate speech. Rumors state that Germany is exploring opening a bureau to track and fight fake news, similarly to how the Czech Republic has done, reported The Verge.
Facebook’s fact-checking tool might be the first step in social media sites heavily combating fake news and other forms of speech, such as hate speech. Time will only tell how successful this feature will be until later on. Removing fake news and hate speech will take time; it can’t all be removed in one day. However, hopes are high that this feature will bring about more informative and accurate information.
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