Facebook Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday summarised a number of the steps the social media platform will undertake to stop fake news websites from using its advertising network. In a post on Facebook, the 32-year-old tech billionaire said the company was trying to improve its technical systems to be able to “classify misinformation” on its own as they “take misinformation seriously”.
In addition to a strong detection system, Zuckerberg said Facebook will soon make it easier for users to report fake stories they come across, which will also help identify such news much faster. As part of this measure, the social media major is considering adding a feature to label stories flagged as false by third parties or a Facebook member. Such labeling will serve as a warning for others before they read or share them. The company is also looking at possible tie-ups with fact-checking organisations.
The Facebook CEO also outlined a number of other measures, including framing new policies that will target the ad revenue model of websites that generate false news. “A lot of misinformation is driven by financially-motivated spam,” Zuckerberg said. “We’re looking into disrupting the economics with ads policies.”
His statement comes at a time when tech giants, including Facebook and Google, are facing accusations that they helped mislead United States voters by allowing the circulation of incorrect information posted as news. After Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential elections on November 8, there was widespread speculation that doctored stories affected voters’ decision. While his rival Hillary Clinton was ahead of Trump in popular votes, searches on Google after the election showed the opposite because of fake news generated by dubious websites.
Earlier, Facebook had denied the allegations and said that the social networking website did not play a role in the outcome of the election. “We do not integrate or display ads in apps or sites containing content that is illegal, misleading or deceptive, which includes fake news,” Facebook had said in a statement.