announces it is rolling back its controversial "Disputed
Flags" measure. (Reuters)
announced last week that it is rolling back its controversial
“Disputed Flags” measure next to articles deemed fake news amid
studies showing it does not stop the spread of such content and only
encourages users to click on it.
tech giant said the move was in response to academic research
showing that a strong image like a red flag next to an article “may
actually entrench deeply held beliefs” and lead to an opposite
effect of encouraging users to click on false stories, according to
the company’s blog
post posted on Dec. 20.
Facebook will now show “Related Articles” next to fake news, giving
more context to users on any particular story.
research has shown (Related Articles is) a more effective way to
help people get to the facts,” the social media giant said, adding
that “it leads to fewer shares than when the Disputed Flag is
company is also launching another initiative aimed at understanding
how people decide if the information is accurate based on the news
sources they depend on for news.
said it will not impact what people see on their feeds in the near
term, but will help them to measure the success in improving the
quality of information on the platform.
partnered up last year with multiple media organizations, including
Snopes, ABC News and FactCheck.org, in an attempt to thwart the
spread of so-called “fake news” – articles containing misinformation
– that facilitated during the 2016 Presidential election.
fact-checkers were given permission to dispute content on the
platform in an attempt to help the users to identify fake news and
stop the spread of hoaxes. Articles deemed fake by verified
fact-checkers get demoted, which significantly cuts down the traffic
and the proliferation of such content.
we’re making progress,” the company said. “Demoting false news (as
identified by fact-checkers) is one of our best weapons because
demoted articles typically lose 80 percent of their traffic. This
destroys the economic incentives spammers and troll farms have to
generate these articles in the first place.