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With Facebook's News Feed overflowing with content, it is hard to which stories are true and which are false. This is why Facebook now wants to ensure that users get accurate information. The company has just announced that it is making two changes which will help to curb false news.
First, Facebook will no longer use Disputed Flags to identify false news. Instead of that, it will use Related Articles to help give people more context about the story. Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs; the opposite effect to what Facebook originally intended.
Related Articles, on the other hand, are simply designed to give more context, which our research has shown is a more effective way to help people get to the facts. In fact, Facebook has found that when it shows Related Articles next to a false news story, it leads to fewer shares than when the Disputed Flag is shown.
Second, Facebook is starting a new initiative to better understand how people decide whether information is accurate or not based on the news sources they depend upon. This will not directly impact News Feed in the near term. However, it may eventually improve the quality of information on Facebook over time.
By showing Related Articles rather than Disputed Flags, Facebook can help give people better context. Also, understanding how people decide what's false and what's not will be crucial to Facebook's success over time.
"False news undermines the unique value that Facebook offers: the ability for you to connect with family and friends in meaningful ways. It's why we're investing in better technology and more people to help prevent the spread of misinformation. Overall, we're making progress," stated Facebook in a blog post.
Well, it seems like Facebook is quite determined to stop the spread of false news on its platform. In fact, the company recently announced that it will start demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait. This means posts that use this tactic for greater reach will be shown less in News Feed.