Facebook combats fake news with new warning label

Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook.

The Menlo Park tech firm has started rolling out a new warning label for news stories that are “disputed” by a  third-party fact checker such as Snopes and PolitiFact.

Facebook users can report a news story as fake by clicking on a gray downward arrow button on the right side of an article.

The spread of misinformation on social media sites became a growing concern after Donald Trump won the presidential election.

“We’ve made progress fighting hoaxes the way we fight spam, but we have more work to do,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a lengthy February letter outlining the company’s global ambitions. “We are proceeding carefully because there is not always a clear line between hoaxes, satire and opinion.”

He noted that the company is trying to focus on surfacing more information from fact checkers rather than pulling down fake content.

One fictional story that has been flagged on the social media site is an article by a satire website called The Seattle Tribune that reported that Trump’s unsecured Android device was the source of recent White House leaks.

The website, though, has a disclaimer that the stories it publishes are fictional and meant to be satire.

When you click on the disputed story, a message from Facebook along with links to Snopes and PolitiFact pops up, explaining why it’s fake news.

While Snopes points out that the website is not a legitimate news outlet, it also notes there is misinformation in the piece.

“That article cited two non-existent “intelligence agencies,” A.R.H. Intelligence and Z|13 Security, as its primary source, and hijacked the social media hashtag #DitchTheDevice, which has been used to encourage cell phone users to spend more time away from their tech, ” Snopes wrote.

Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images


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  • Problem is, Snopes as well as certain other “fact” checkers are mostly fake. Snopes is a joke – 2 fat people and a fat cat, and the 2 people are fighting in court over charges of criminal stuff. And of course Snopes toes the official government line on everything.

    • Cheap & Nothing Wasted

      And you are yet another fake news story!

      • Said the troll…

        • Cheap & Nothing Wasted

          You’re the real troll.
          Go back to living under your rickety bridge!

          • Do I smell fear or what? Don’t fret pal – Trump will eventually deprogram you. In the meantime have a stiff drink.

  • sd

    So where does the tin-foil hat brigade go to verify what they’re fed by social media and faux-news organizations?