Facebook came under heavy criticism for fake news during the recent US presidential campaign. CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to take “misinformation seriously” without announcing a date for action. It looks like the company has taken a step towards curbing fake news, by adding a new user-reporting feature for fake news, according to Engadget.
However, the feature is said to be on the social networking site since last year. According to a post on Facebook newsroom posted on January 20, 2015, Facebook has added an option to report a news as “false”. This works the same way as reporting a story as spam. When the user clicks the option to hide a story (on the top right of a post), there is the option to report the content as “It is a false news story”.
It is unsure if this feature was rolled out across the world, as it is not seen in many countries including India.
After the Election Day in the US, many fact checking organisations came forward urging Facebook to sort out the issue of fake news.
Some of them suggested measures to curb fake news. One is to remove the false news from the popular news feed section with the help of human curators. Facebook earlier reported that it has automated this system. Another option came up was to pair a fake news with a prominent fact checked story similar to “Related Stories” system.
“We take misinformation very seriously. We are aware of and have been working on addressing this problem for the past few years… We know we have more work to do and we’re hoping we can continue to rely on our community to help us understand what is and is not fake news,” a Facebook spokeswoman reportedly said to Politico.com when contacted for comments.