Facebook Amps Up ‘Related Articles’ to Combat Fake News

Facebook is further enhancing its fact-checking tools in order to better combat the epidemic of fake and sensational news articles.

As of latest, the network is replacing the disputed flags label accompanying potentially dangerous articles with links from alternate news sites.

Dispute Flags Might Have Helped Spread Fake News

The flags and red badges, which had been in circulation for a while, apparently weren’t helpful enough in convincing people about the damaging nature of the news. In fact, as Facebook found out, it actually might have helped strengthen those very beliefs it had hoped to tackle.

Add to that, their implementation worldwide has been slow, while the process of labelling fairly stringent. It was a complicated system which was not fast or scalable enough for the speedy world of media.

Related Articles have also been in circulation for a while, launched back in 2013, and give the similar story from a different publication, as soon as the user has finished reading an article.

They are also much faster than labels, which took up to three days to show up next to an article. Instead, it will show a rating next to the article, such as “mostly true”.

Related Articles Help

According to its data, related articles next to harmful news reports help reduce the number of shares generated, preventing it from spreading. The move will work alongside Facebook’s goal of demoting false news links by 80 percent, which is still one of the more helpful steps to date.

Facebook is also trying to figure out how people judge a news story to be accurate, based on the organization behind it. The details are scarce on that front.