Offering to allow readers to flag “fake” news could also be a way of stifling dissent.
According to Reuters, “Facebook clamps down on fake news stories.”
Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it has taken steps to clamp down on “hoaxes” and fake news stories that can spread like wildfire on its 1.35-billion member online social network.
The company said it had introduced an option to allow Facebook users to flag a story as “purposefully fake or deceitful news” to reduce the distribution of news stories reported as hoaxes.
Facebook said it will not remove fake news stories from its website. Instead, the company’s algorithm, which determines how widely user posts are distributed, will take into account hoax reports.
“A post with a link to an article that many people have reported as a hoax or chose to delete will get reduced distribution in the News Feed,” Facebook explained.
Facebook has become an increasingly important source of news, with 30 percent of adults in the U.S. consuming news on the world’s largest social network, according to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Facebook cited stories about dinosaur sightings and research supposedly proving the existence of Santa Claus as examples of fake news stories
There is an obvious value to this… and also a huge, huge potential for abuse, to shut down “unpopular” points of view, or facts those in control find “inconvenient.”
It’s so very obvious Facebook has been destroying the value of the newsfeed for several years, and preventing certain posts from reaching a wider readership. This will likely only make that worse, as they can simply claim the story was “reported” as being fake.
My guess is that posts on subjects like the truth about “Climate Change” will be getting lower and lower priority in newsfeeds everywhere