PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Facebook has rolled out a new tool to flag fake news stories as “disputed.”
The giant social network says it will flag any stories that have been debunked by third-party fact-checkers.
Once it’s determined to be false, the content will remain on Facebook, but with a “disputed” tag and a link to a site explaining why.
“So something that’s completely made up gets passed around over and over again until it takes on the veneer of truth and it starts to look like real actual news, and then people start making real world decisions based on something that’s completely made up,” said Andrew Conte, the director of Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation.
Facebook released a media advisory about the feature in December.
Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg released a statement in November, saying: “We take misinformation seriously. Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information. We’ve been working on this problem for a long time and we take this responsibility seriously. We’ve made significant progress, but there is more work to be done.”
The company also urges users to report hoaxes by clicking the upper right-hand corner of a post.
“Sometimes it’s just so obvious that this is clearly fake news, and if you can put some sort of a disclaimer on it that says, ‘Yes, this is fake, it’s not real, this is a made-up newspaper or a made-up news outlet,’ then, yes, it should be marked in some way,” Conte said.
Facebook says when you try to share content that has been determined “fake” you’ll get the following prompt.
A Pew Research Center survey finds that one-fourth of Americans share fake news stories all the time.
But even with this new disclaimer feature, Conte says for some people, “they believe what they want to believe.”