Now You Can Tell Facebook When Your Friends Are Posting Fake News
All the news that's fit to debunk.
It happens all the time: you’re browsing your Facebook feed when all of a sudden your mom’s weird uncle posts a link saying that next week Obama’s going to cancel all the gravity and we’ll have to sign up for government-sponsored people-leashes to keep us at our desks. You could tell him that’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard, but it’ll make family reunions awkward. Now, Facebook will do it for you. Score one for not having to talk to other humans!
Today Facebook’s blog announced that soon they’ll be rolling out the ability to report hoaxes, which they define as spam, false news stories, and other unwanted material that deliberately misleads their users for pageview traffic. As of now it’s not available on the site yet, but here’s what it should look like when it is:
Flagging a false news story won’t delete the content from Facebook; rather, what it will do is add a small disclaimer to the top of the posted link, which reads: “Many people on Facebook have reported that this story contains false information.” Like this, for example:
Of course, the most surefire way to stop a hoax from being shared is to tell the person who’s sharing it, who will more often than not delete it from the site entirely. In fact, Facebook’s News Feed will take into account the amount of times people delete posts in addition to as the amount of times they are flagged by users , so false-flagging a story from a legitimate link just because you don’t like what you’re reading (see what I did there) probably won’t do much.
Facebook’s blog also notes that those who take real satire seriously, like the stuff published by The Onion, will also be shit out of luck. “We’ve found from testing that people tend not to report satirical content intended to be humorous, or content that is clearly labeled as satire,” it notes. “This type of content should not be affected by this update.” Sorry, weird uncles. Guess you’ll still get snookered every once in a while.
(via The Next Web)