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Facebook to start fact checking UK posts


Facebook to start fact checking UK posts

Social networking site Facebook has recently announced that it will now be employing fact checkers to determine whether the content within flagged posts is factually accurate.

Facebook has been plagued with accusations of fake news, with some claimants stating that the site is ravaged with false information. This issue has been ongoing with the site since at least 2016 and the company has now launched its latest attempt to address the criticisms it has been faced with over its actions in dealing with fake news.

UK users will now be given the opportunity to report posts that they suspect may be fake or contain false information. Once they have been reported, Full Fact, a fact-checking organisation, will review posts, images, videos and stories and decide whether they are false or not. This will then see posts given a rating stating that a story is true, false or a mixture of both. It is believed that opinion-based and satirical content will be exempt from the checks.

However, instead of removing fake news and false information from the site, Facebook will continue to allow these posts to be shared and promoted, but will simply mark them as being fake news and have them appearing lower in the news feeds.

Full Fact, which is a charitable organisation set up in 2010, has said that it will focus on posts that contain information it believes will be the most damaging to the Facebook community, such as incorrect medical information, fake news about terror attacks and hoaxes surrounding elections.

The latter is something that Facebook has already received a lot of criticism about after it promoted certain stories that helped current US President Donald Trump to win the 2016 Presidential Election. Politicians from around the world have repeatedly criticised Facebook bosses as fake news has interfered with many other elections across the globe, including the UK’s Brexit Referendum and the General Election of 2017.

Full Fact has explained that it will be publishing all of its fact checks on its own website and will be producing quarterly reports that will review its relationship with the social network.

Facebook has continually stated that it is trying to reduce the spread of misinformation on its site. It first launched a fact-checking initiative back in December 2016 following the accusations and concerns surrounding the promotion of propaganda and hoaxes in the US Presidential Election.

As a result, the site now works with teams of fact checkers in over 20 countries with content being reviewed on the platforms. However, the effectiveness of these checks has been the subject of many studies, with many still stating that the site is not doing enough to combat fake news.

Alan Littler

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