A Friend Request
We’ve spoken a lot about fake news over the last year or so and it continues to be a hot topic. Because of this Facebook has recently been in the news again, with the president discussing their fact-checking process. So, how does Facebook sift through all the mud to find the gold?
Read All About It
The steps that Facebook take to look at if a news article is credible, or not, are very simple. Here’s a breakdown of how they sort fact from fiction.
Step One – If the article does any of the following things it will be removed by Facebook:
- Try to suppress voter turnout
- Insight violence
- Violate community standards
If it passes this first test then the article will go onto the second round of scrutiny.
Step Two – If the suspect article passes the first vetting stage it’s then sent on to a third party for further checking. The third-party websites used are PolitiFact and Snopes and you can find the full details of what is checked and when here. If the results come back saying that any of the heading, content, or a mixture of the two is false then Facebook will drastically reduce the post’s reach.
As well as this they will also message the page and warn them about the content, as well as letting them know that if their page is monetized at all that it may be at risk if they continue to post unverifiable content.
Facebook Fake News
You can argue that be reducing the post’s reach instead of simply deleting it Facebook is trying to avoid any accusations of censorship. Facebook is essentially saying “post what you want, but nobody has to listen to it” and they certainly don’t want you to make money from it.
What Can Be Improved?
If there is anything we can learn from Facebook’s process it is that fact-checking is important. Looking at third party websites for information to confirm what you’ve heard is a vital part of creating good quality content. We always try to include at least two links in every article we right to aid that purpose. What do you do to make sure you’re not accused of creating fake news?