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Facebook ups Ante with Related Articles, Updated AI to Fight Fake News

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Published on : Aug 04, 2017

Facebook has made its intentions clear to fight fake news by sending an increasing count of suspected hoax stories under the scrutiny of fact-checkers and putting up its findings online. The stepping up of its efforts came right after the social media giant was criticized for not taking enough measures to root out fake stories. Facebook has launched a new feature in four different countries which displays alternative news under problematic stories. However, numerous experts have the opinion that the measures taken by the company did not go far enough. Facebook has been criticized of being one of the chief fake news distribution platforms, which several people think could have influenced the French presidential election in May and the 2016 presidential election in the U.S.

Updated AI and New Feature, Related Articles to Answer Criticism

Initially, Facebook was hesitant to take down stories that entail fake news, disputing that it does not want to operate as an “arbiter of truth.” However, with a simultaneous implementation of user detection and artificial intelligence (AI), the company has been identifying potentially fake news stories. Such stories could then be sent to fact-checkers who would alert readers by placing a flag next to the stories. On Thursday, the company said it could improve detection by employing “updated machine learning.” All fact-checking stories could be published below the original post that has been reviewed. A spokesperson said such stories would not be “direct responses” to fake news articles, but factually correct reports that presented an alternative.

On Thursday, Facebook also unveiled a new feature, Related Articles, which has been under test since April. Rolled out in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the U.S., it could place links to other news items beneath severely questionable or popular stories to offer additional information and more perspectives to readers.