Accuracy in Media

Facebook has implemented procedures to battle the amount of fake news that spreads on the site.
While the website reports it is confident it is making progress, it still has room for improvement.

According to Facebook, once a story is given a false rating from a fact-checker subsequent ‘impressions” drop by as much as 80 percent. Impressions represent the number of times Facebook users see a particular post, though most of those impressions — and, therefore damage from a fake story, is done when it first appears on Facebook.

While that may show that Facebook’s efforts are having an effect on fake news, the process to remove a false story routinely takes more than three days.

This information comes from an email that a Facebook manager sent its fact-checking partners, which include the Associated Press. Facebook shared the email with AP reporters

Jason White, Facebook’s manager of news partnerships, said in the email that the company is working to identify “these hoaxes sooner, ” and that they “also need to surface more of them, as we know we miss many.”

White added that it is “equally important we do this the right way, and don’t restrict legitimate speech. It’s a difficult tension, but we are confident we can improve our efforts.”

Facebook has long stressed that it only wants to go after the “worst of the worst” offenders when it comes to false news and hoaxes. While many stories may be disputed as biased or partially false, the company is trying to avoid the appearance of censorship.

While many stories may be disputed as biased or partially false, the company wants to avoid the appearance of censorship.

This is also why, as part of its fact-checking program, a story must be found false by at least two fact-checkers before Facebook will label it as “disputed.”

Facebook has come under criticism for its fact-checking efforts for excluding conservatives from its initial partner list, which currently consists of Snopes, FactCheck.org, ABC News, Politifact and the AP.





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