Facebook on Thursday unveiled new ways it’s cracking down on fake news, following a nationwide backlash against made-up reports that flooded the social networking site during the election cycle.
The company’s plans involve targeting the “worst of the worst” offenders, relying on users to flag fake content and outsourcing fact-checking to third parties.
The move comes after false political stories flooded social media, claiming Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump’s bid to become president; an FBI agent investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server killed his wife and then himself; and tens of thousands of fraudulent ballots marked for Clinton were discovered in a warehouse. The false stories led some to question whether fake news impacted the outcome of the election — which Zuckerberg last month called a “pretty crazy idea.”
Nevertheless, a few days after making that comment, Zuckerberg assured Facebook users that he was working on the fake news problem. On Thursday, he rolled out what he hopes will be the first steps toward a solution.
Facebook also found that if people are less likely to share an article after reading it, the story may be fake. The company will test incorporating that metric into its news feed ranking.
And Facebook plans to make posting fake stories less lucrative for spammers, who rake in money through advertising when people visit their websites. Facebook said it has done away with the ability to “spoof” domains, making it harder for sites to pretend to be real publications.