December 22, 2017
Facebook is doing away with its disputed flags to help its members spot fake news.
The system, Facebook News Feed product designer Jeff Smith said, simply was not working as the social networking firm had hoped.
Until now, Facebook would surface ‘disputed news’ tag links to fact-checking sites such as Snopes and Politifact. The tags, complete with a red exclamation mark warning sign, would appear beneath news stories posted to Facebook that were found to be inaccurate.
While the tags and the red exclamation mark warning signs will no longer be used, there are some parts of the system that have been saved, Smith said.
As soon as Facebook discovers that an article has been disputed by fact-checkers, it sends a notification to members who previously shared it. When a user shares the same content in the future, a short message will pop up to inform them there is additional reporting about the same topic.
“When people scroll through News Feed and see a questionable article posted from a distant contact or an unknown publisher, they should have the context to make informed decisions about whether they should read, trust, or share that story,” Smith said.
“As some of the people behind this product, designing solutions that support news readers is a responsibility we take seriously. We will continue working hard on these efforts by testing new treatments, improving existing treatments, and collaborating with academic experts on this complicated misinformation problem.”