Published: Sat, August 05, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ted Wilson

Facebook adds to ''Related Articles'' feature to crack down on fake news

Facebook adds to ''Related Articles'' feature to crack down on fake news

Take a shot every time Facebook evades editorial accountability.

Now, it seems, Facebook is comfortable pitching the feature more explicitly as a tool to counteract the spread of misinformation.

Facebook said in a separate statement in German that a test of the new fact-checking feature was being launched in the United States, France, the Netherlands, and Germany.

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In a blog post, Facebook on Thursday said it will start using updated machine learning to detect more potential hoaxes to send to third-party fact checkers.

But it's also just another way for Facebook to continue acting like a news outlet for billions of users without directly accepting any journalistic responsibility.

"If an article has been reviewed by fact checkers, we may show the fact checking stories below the original post", the post explained.

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Facebook said the update won't cause significant changes, and users will still see relevant stories.

This extra context will be displayed in the form of links to other articles discussing or debunking a topic, to appear below a link to a suspicious news story. By delegating the subjective work to non-Facebook employees and leaning on machine learning technology, Facebook still gets to wield its influence as an editorial outlet without being labelled as one.

Facebook has publicly pledged to do more to combat fake news after it was heavily criticised following the USA presidential election previous year, when some commentators suggested pro-Donald Trump stories flooding the site may have influenced the result, something founder Mark Zuckerberg strongly hit back against.

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