Social giant cracks down on hoaxes

Posted on January 22, 2015

 

Facebook is making changes to its news feed to let users know when a post has been flagged as containing false information.

The latest changes to its platform will see any statuses that have been reported as possible spam shown to fewer people, in a move that will likely go down well with the many users who are tired of seeing such posts cluttering up their news feeds.

With a number of high-profile examples having littered the Facebook platform in recent years, including fake scares about Ebola virus outbreaks in the US and free money being given away by Microsoft entrepreneur Bill Gates, the move is not only aimed at increasing the site’s user experience.

For example, many of the posts that people are tricked into sharing or clicking on lead to pages with hidden malware embedded, which will then infect the user’s system. By adding its caution on statuses that have been flagged as dodgy, Facebook will in turn help to validate the real posts from people and companies using it.

The ability to flag a post as a fake news story was also a recently introduced feature, with the social giant’s algorithm now taking reports into account as it calculates the worth of a status to users. If judged poorly, the post would then fall from the view of Facebook’s members, which highlights the need for quality content on the site from legitimate companies, if they want to be seen.

When he’s not editing web copy and news articles at work, Web Content Editor Tom sates his love for the written word by losing himself in a good book.
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