Facebook’s War on Fake News Hits the UK

Facebook has had a long-running issue with misinformation in its news feeds. The social media giant is working hard to try and resolve these issues. This has including adding ‘disputed’ flags to some of its news if their fact-checkers deemed it to be fake.

However, while this was designed to try and minimise fake news, it merely made some users wonder if they were trying to cover things up. In turn, this caused these news sites to see a big increase in hits.

Full Fact Hired to Help

Part of Facebook’s latest war on fake news is to hire an independent UK fact-checking company called Full Fact. The charity announced, that they are going to be checking any public pictures, stories and videos that Facebook users flag as potentially bogus.

Founded in 2010, Full Fact will be grading content as either true, false, or a mixture of both. In total, there are nine options available. These include whether a story has a factually inaccurate headline, or if it is prank news.

Fake News Won’t Disappear

The charity stated that not all content will be checked. Anything considered satire or opinion will be exempt from the rating system. Users will also keep the option to share any content they see whether it has been flagged as inaccurate or not. This is part of Facebook’s commitment to ensuring free speech while trying to give its users a better experience.

In July 2018, Facebook stated that it wasn’t going to remove any fake news. Instead, it would demote it, essentially, leading to 80% fewer views for the story.

A Big Task

Full Fact will be the only fact checker based in the UK initially, so they are realistic about their goals. They are going to look at prioritising the content they check. This means focusing on stories that could damage people’s health or safety, as well as anything that might undermine the democratic process.

The charity also stated that while Facebook will be paying for this fact-checking service, they will have no editorial control of the process.


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