Humans come up trumps as Facebook rolls out its solution for fake news

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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

  • Fake news is now regarded as one of the most politically destabilising developments in recent years, Facebook’s new solution hopes to turn the tide on the fakers


 

Ironically, for all the amazing things that artificial intelligence (AI) can do, from running Wall Street hedge funds to even running Mark Zuckerberg’s own house, it turns out that when it comes to spotting, and weeding out, fake news humans are still the best alternative. Hah, stupid AI… Yesterday social media giant Facebook announced that it’s launched its much hyped “fake news” crackdown initiative in the US, tagging as “Disputed” the stories that are deemed false by fact checking organisations.

 

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The new feature uses non-partisan third party organisations like Snopes and Politifact to assess the factual accuracy of stories reported as fake by users.

On its help centre page, Facebook has added a question “How is news marked as disputed on Facebook?” However, the section noted that this feature is not yet available to everyone, and it’s unclear how many people currently have access to the “fake news” debunking feature.

The new Disputed tool was first revealed by users on Twitter. Facebook had originally introduced a beta solution to tackle fake news stories last December, amid outcries that so called fake news influenced the outcome of the US presidential election, and now they’ve made it official by partnering with the third party signatories who’ve signed up to the Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles service that includes ABC News, FactCheck.org, Snopes and Politifact, among others.

 

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Stories that are flagged by Facebook users as ‘fake news’ will now be passed on to these fact checkers for verification, and if the fact checkers agree that the story is misleading, it’ll appear in News Feeds with a “disputed” tag, along with a link to a corresponding article explaining why it might be false. These posts then appear lower in the news feed and users will receive a warning before sharing the story.

Similar efforts are planned in Europe amid threats from the European Union to reduce on the spread of misinformation. The social networking site recently revealed fact checking partnerships in Germany and France ahead of respective elections in each country.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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