Facebook to step up fact-checking in fight against fake news
Update to related articles feature is launching in U.S., France, the Netherlands and Germany
The company said in a statement on its website it will start using updated machine learning to detect possible hoaxes and send them to fact checkers, potentially showing fact-checking results under the original article.
It's a further roll out of testing started in April.
Facebook has been criticized as being one of the main distribution points for so-called fake news, which many think influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The issue has also become a big political topic in Europe, with French voters deluged with false stories ahead of the presidential election in May and Germany backing a plan to fine social media networks if they fail to remove hateful postings promptly, ahead of elections there in September.
On Thursday Facebook said in a separate statement in German that a test of the new fact-checking feature was being launched in the United States, France, the Netherlands and Germany.
"In addition to seeing which stories are disputed by third-party fact checkers, people want more context to make informed decisions about what they read and share," said Sara Su, Facebook news feed product manager, in a blog.
She added that Facebook would keep testing its "related article" feature, which suggests additional articles on the same topic from different viewpoints or outlets, and work on other changes to its news feed to cut down on false news.