Facebook announced in a statement on its website on Thursday it will begin to use updated machine learning to detect possible hoaxes and send them to fact checkers, potentially showing fact-checking results under the original article.


The world's largest online social network giant will send more potential hoax articles to third-party fact checkers and show their findings below the original post as it tries to fight so-called fake news.

Fighting Fake News

The company said it has created a software algorithm to point out possible suspicious stories and direct them to third-party fact checkers. If the fact-checkers review the post and write a story debunking it or giving context, that post may appear below the original content on Facebook’s news feed, according to a company blog post.

Facebook said in a separate statement in German that a test of the new fact-checking feature was being launched in the United States, France, the Netherlands, and Germany.

"In addition to seeing which stories are disputed by third-party fact checkers, people want more context to make informed decisions about what they read and share," said Sara Su, Facebook news feed product manager, in a blog.

She added that Facebook would keep testing its "related article" feature and work on other changes to its news feed to cut down on false news.

“Related Article” Feature

Facebook began rolling out a new initiative to show up fake news that automatically serves up related articles and links from reliable sources for potentially hoaxed stories.

The social networking company first began testing those related articles and links with a subset of its audience this spring and said on Thursday that those tests were proven to be successful.


“Since starting this test, we’ve heard that Related Articles helps give people more perspectives and additional information, and helps them determine whether the news they are reading is misleading or false, so we’re rolling this out more broadly,” the company said in an updated blog post back in April.



Fake News Issue


Facebook has been criticized for being one of the main distribution points for so-called fake news, which many think influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


After U.S. President Donald Trump’s election, Facebook was criticized for allowing false information to go viral, potentially resulting in misinformed voters. One viral hoax, for example, claimed that the Pope had endorsed Trump.


After initially arguing that fake news on Facebook could have played a role in the election, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg decided the company should prioritize having informed users.


In the months since the election, Trump has used the “fake news” term to refer to the mainstream media.


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