Facebook Tests ‘More Info’ Button to Fight Spread of Fake News

fake news tool
Facebook tries fighting fake news spread with new tool to add context to news stories. Image: Pixabay.com

The new tool, introduced on Thursday in a blog post, is Facebook’s new bid to help fight fake news.

It will be recalled, this is not the first time the social network has tried to curb the proliferation of hoaxes on its platform.

More recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the website he created has been receiving criticisms for the fake news scourge plaguing the internet.

In light of the 3,000 Russia-linked ads on the social networking website, Zuckerberg has already asked forgiveness for the division that Facebook has abetted and vowed to protect election integrity.

Facebook over the last year created several tools already, which included fact-checking tags on articles and fake news warnings.

Context-based Articles

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 11.55.59 PM

In the new tool, Facebook will show context on articles posted to a user’s newsfeed. Users will find a button next to posted links, that will launch a pop-up window providing a detail about the article and its publisher.

What the tool will do is to pull descriptions of the website the article is linked from, scraping details about the publisher from different sources, including the Wikipedia entry of the same.

So when you shared an article posted by UNTV on Facebook, you could get a pop-up saying “UNTV 37 is a Philippine television channel website that publishes news and streams live simulcast of its shows and advocacies,” as it described in its Wikipedia entry.

The next question then is about Wikipedia, which is not a foolproof check against fake news. An entry at Wikipedia can be edited by just anybody, including those that populate the largest online user-generated encyclopedia with hoaxes.

By adding a publisher info button, readers will be given the right context and information on the source of what it is the users are sharing. Facebook added that readers will know if what they are reading is an article peddled by fake-news site.

“Helping people access this important contextual information can help them evaluate if articles are from a publisher they trust, and if the story itself is credible,” Facebook said in a blog post published on Thursday.

First Senate Probe on Fake News Spread

On Wednesday, the Philippine Senate held its first probe on the spread of fake news. This came days after seven senators cried foul over an allegation by an anonymous blog SilentNoMorePH.com, criticizing them for not signing a resolution condemning the killings of young people amid the war on drugs. The seven senators denied being shown the resolution for them to sign.

A bill was filed in June by Senator Joel Villanueva that will penalize individuals or entities that will publish and distribute fake news.

“If purveyors are allowed to get away with their lies, they embolden government officials to also lie in order to escape accountability, crush dissent and commit illegal acts with impunity,” said Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Committee on Public Information and Mass Media.

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