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August 29, 2017

Pages Sharing Fake News Will be Prohibited From Buying Ads, Facebook Warns

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Facebook is taking yet another step to crack down on the spread of hoaxes and fake news on its platform.

Pages that repeatedly share stories marked as false by third-party fact-checking organizations will no longer be permitted to advertise on Facebook.

fake news“This update will help to reduce the distribution of false news which will keep Pages that spread false news from making money,” Facebook product managers Satwik Shukla and Tessa Lyons said in a blog post.

“We’ve found instances of Pages using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more broadly. Now, if a Page repeatedly shares stories that have been marked as false by third-party fact-checkers, they will no longer be able to buy ads on Facebook. If Pages stop sharing false news, they may be eligible to start running ads again.”

Shukla and Lyons said Facebook is battling the spread of fake news by disrupting the economic incentives to create it in the first place. Facebook is also building new products to curtail the spread of hoaxes and fake news and is helping people to make more informed decisions when they encounter such posts.

Facebook found itself under fire last year for the proliferation of fake news circulated on its platform during the U.S. presidential election. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was blamed by critics and the media alike for not doing more to rid Facebook of  fake news concerning the presidential election. Some believe such phony stories convinced voters to choose current president Donald Trump over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Although Zuckerberg has repeatedly said there is no way fake news on Facebook influenced the outcome of the election, the outpouring of negative feedback obviously convinced him to address the ever-growing issue and he announced a plan last November to rid the platform of hoaxes and “false news.”

Since then, Facebook has updated its false news policy several times, in particular battling phony posts ahead of election in the U.K. and France.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.