Facebook Launches Campaign To Combat "Fake News"

Tyler Durden's picture

Crowdsourced flagging of books as "fake"

One month after Facebook revealed a seven point plan to eradicate "fake news", Mark Zuckerberg has made good on his promise to strip Facebook of fake news stories, starting with a tool that allows users to flag anything they consider a hoax, as well as features that tweak Facebook’s news algorithm and provide more restrictions on advertising.

Facebook's 1.8 billion users will now be able to click the upper right-hand corner of the post to flag content as fake news.

The first problem, however, immediately emerges because as NBC notes, "legitimate news outlets won't be able to be flagged", which then begs the question who or what is considered "legitimate news outlets", does it include the likes of NYTs and the WaPos, which during the runup to the election declared on a daily basis, that Trump has no chance of winning, which have since posted defamatory stories about so-called "Russian propaganda news sites", admitting subsequently that their source data was incorrect, and which many consider to be the source of "fake news".

Also, just who makes the determination what is considered "legitimate news outlets."

In any case, flagged stories - which really means any story that a readers disagrees with - will then be reviewed by Facebook researchers and sent on to third-party fact-checking organizations for further verification — or marked as fake.

Here too, one wonders how much good will checking will take place considering that these "researchers" will be bombarded with tens of thousands of flagged articles daily, until it ultimately become a rote move to simply delete anything flagged as flase by enough disgruntled readers, before moving on to the next article, while in the process not touching the narrative spun by the liberal "legitimate news outlets", the ones who would jump at the opportunity to have dinner with Podesta in hopes of becoming Hillary Clinton's public relations arm.

"We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we're approaching this problem carefully," Adam Mosseri, Facebook's vice president of News Feed, said in a blog post. So, what Facebook will do, is give the voice to all those others who praise any article they agree with, and slam and flag as "fake news" antyhing they disagree with. At least no book burning will be involved.

The Facebook VP promised that "we've focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations."

Not only that, but Facebook's algorithm that decides what gets the most prominence in News Feed, will also be tweaked, one would assume to give more prominence to the abovementioned "legitimate news oulets"... such as WaPo and the NYT.

How will the algo determine if a story is potentially fake? If a story is being read but not shared, Mosseri said that may be a sign it's misleading. Which in turn means that clickbait articles are about to explode at the expense of deep-though, long-read pieces which the current generation of Facebook readers has no time for.

"We're going to test incorporating this signal into ranking, specifically for articles that are outliers, where people who read the article are significantly less likely to share it," he said.

It gets better: the next step in Facebook's plan to rid the site of fake news involves sending flagged stories to third-party fact-checking organizations, which include Snopes, Politifact, and Factcheck.org, which as the recent election showed, are just as biased as the so-called "fake news" sites, however they cover their partiality under the cloak of being objective, which they conflate with being "factual."

A group of Facebook researchers will initially have the responsibility of sifting through flagged stories and determining which ones to send to the fact-checking organizations. If it's determined to be fake, the story will be flagged as disputed and include a link explaining why.

Then the punishment: flagged stories can still be shared, but readers will be warned in advance, and they'll be more likely to appear lower in News Feed. These stories also won't be able to be promoted or turned into advertisements. 

* * *

Facebook's bottom-line argument for engaging in soft censorship? Money.

While Facebook hopes these tools will be helpful, they're also aiming to hit purveyors of fake news where it hurts — the pocketbook.


"Spammers make money by masquerading as well-known news organizations, and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to their sites, which are often mostly ads," Mosseri said.


"On the buying side we've eliminated the ability to spoof domains, which will reduce the prevalence of sites that pretend to be real publications. On the publisher side, we are analyzing publisher sites to detect where policy enforcement actions might be necessary," he said.

As a reminder, the Fake News theme reached a boiling point days after the election, when Zuckerberg said it was "pretty crazy" to think fake news could have influenced the election and warned Facebook "must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth." Less than two weeks later, with the issue still simmering, Zuckerberg shared a more detailed account of projects he said were already underway to thwart the spread of misinformation.

While the narrative has since shifted to fake news following the disastrous WaPo report on "Russian Propaganda" outlets, which ultimately crushed the credibility of its author, and has been replaced with the "Putin hacked the election" narrative, the quiet push to silence non-compliant voices continues.

Amusingly, the team at Facebook has made it clear they don't want censorship on the site and that these new tools are just part of the evolving process of combating misinformation. And yet, crowdsourced censorship is precisely what Facebook has just unrolled.

Ultimately, what will end up happening is that One half of Facebook users will flag what they read by one half the media as fake, and vice versa, while millions of users will simply leave the now censorship endorsing social network out of disgust.

Because, while we admire Zuckerberg's initiative, there is one tried and true way to avoid the all the "fake news" on Facebook:

* * *

The facebook blog post on the topic is below:

News Feed FYI: Addressing Hoaxes and Fake News

By Adam Mosseri, VP, News Feed

A few weeks ago we previewed some of the things we’re working on to address the issue of fake news and hoaxes. We’re committed to doing our part and today we’d like to share some updates we’re testing and starting to roll out.

We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully. We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations.

The work falls into the following four areas. These are just some of the first steps we’re taking to improve the experience for people on Facebook. We’ll learn from these tests, and iterate and extend them over time.

Easier Reporting
We’re testing several ways to make it easier to report a hoax if you see one on Facebook, which you can do by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post. We’ve relied heavily on our community for help on this issue, and this can help us detect more fake news.


Flagging Stories as Disputed
We believe providing more context can help people decide for themselves what to trust and what to share. We’ve started a program to work with third-party fact checking organizations that are signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles. We’ll use the reports from our community, along with other signals, to send stories to these organizations. If the fact checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed.


It will still be possible to share these stories, but you will see a warning that the story has been disputed as you share.


Once a story is flagged, it can’t be made into an ad and promoted, either.

Informed Sharing
We’re always looking to improve News Feed by listening to what the community is telling us. We’ve found that if reading an article makes people significantly less likely to share it, that may be a sign that a story has misled people in some way. We’re going to test incorporating this signal into ranking, specifically for articles that are outliers, where people who read the article are significantly less likely to share it.

Disrupting Financial Incentives for Spammers
We’ve found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated. Spammers make money by masquerading as well-known news organizations, and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to their sites, which are often mostly ads. So we’re doing several things to reduce the financial incentives. On the buying side we’ve eliminated the ability to spoof domains, which will reduce the prevalence of sites that pretend to be real publications. On the publisher side, we are analyzing publisher sites to detect where policy enforcement actions might be necessary.

It’s important to us that the stories you see on Facebook are authentic and meaningful. We’re excited about this progress, but we know there’s more to be done. We’re going to keep working on this problem for as long as it takes to get it right.

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Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Facebook is sure spend tremendous energy to control what people are read…

Slomotrainwreck's picture

Any story even mentioning Facebook will be flagged. Hilarious.

Shitonya Serfs's picture

I don't have an FB, but am going to bet you will not be able to mark MSM sites as Fake or whatever the options may be.

froze25's picture

Thank goodness that Face book is doing this, I was getting tired of having to think for myself.

jbvtme's picture

i keep waiting for apple to introduce its "come in out of the rain" app...

jbvtme's picture

also, it would be nice to get to the bottom of this fake "holocaust" rumor that's been making the rounds...

Uchtdorf's picture

I wonder where we could find a willing group of clean cut young men and women who would voluntarily go door-to-door and beg people to permanently close their Facebook account?

bob_stl's picture

Like 2112 all over again.

Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) bob_stl Dec 15, 2016 2:47 PM

Ze~ZuckerJEW (fancies himself as a lampshade)

knukles's picture

This is like asking Mr Clarity (Brucie Jenner) for sexual guidance

Syrin's picture



Dump Fakebook and join SEEN.LIFE.   Tell Fakebook to go fuck themselves.

PTR's picture

I'm trying to find that link for the Russian alternate to twitter.


Anyone got it?

45North1's picture

facebook alternative



twitter alternative




Search Engine alternatives...

https://www.yandex.com/     (russian)















AllBentOutOfShape's picture

Not Twitter, but Russia does have an alternative to fakebook.


Ghost of Porky's picture

Fake News Headline: Facebook was totally NOT stolen from the Winklevosses by Mark Zuckerberg.

OverTheHedge's picture

There I was, thinking: all those ZH commenters will be signing up for Facebook in a frenzy to flag all the MSM stuff, then I read that MSM news is already confirmed as factual, so doesn't need a flag. Ho hum. No Facebook for me.

Ignatius's picture

Isn't this just a wanker version of the "like" button?

Not that I'd know as I don't participate.

BennyBoy's picture


Can't wait for flag spoofing to begin making them useless.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

About three years ago I deleted my FB account simply because of the polarization social media was showing made me nervous that my opinions could in the future be used against me. With the admission of FB censoring conservatives proving my point recently, the very idea of them being the arbiters of what is "real news" is laughable. Just what I would need, a millennial telling me what constitutes "the Truth". No effin' way.

SafelyGraze's picture

is facebook to flag olbermann saying the fake-news Russist tin-hat?

facebook is give free-pass to vote-denier!


847328_3527's picture

Soweto's home town:


Chicago's murder rate keeps rising and the gangs can't be stopped




Soweto was so successful in his home town and state we decided to elect the "community organizer" president?

caconhma's picture

These are exactly the purposes Facebook was created in the first place:

- Spy on its members

- Tightly control of Facebook content for propaganda and brainwashing purposes 

LetThemEatRand's picture

Imagine if the CIA and/or FBI created a website called State Intelligence Gathering Book and invited people to sign up and tell them where they are at all times, what they enjoy and what they do not enjoy, how they lean politically, and to identify all of their friends and family members via photo-tagging.  I can't imagine many people would sign up.

So they called it Facebook and let everyone believe it is a purely private company.

Ignatius's picture

God, I'd hate that; I couldn't handle living in that world.


Evil Bugeyes's picture

Imagine if the CIA and/or FBI created a company called State Intelligence Genetic Profile Gathering, Inc. with a board of directors including people like former Secretary of State George Shultz, William Perry (former Secretary of Defense), Henry Kissinger (former Secretary of State), Sam Nunn (former U.S. Senator), Bill Frist (former U.S. Senator and heart-transplant surgeon), Gary Roughead (Admiral, USN, retired), James Mattis (General, USMC), Richard Kovacevich (former Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO) and Riley Bechtel (chairman of the board and former CEO at Bechtel Group) which would collect genetic samples from everyone and store them in a giant US government database. I can't imagine many people would volunteer their samples.

Maybe they would want to choose a snappier name, like Theranos. 

James Mattis... Where have I heard that name?

Shitonya Serfs's picture

I think it's called 23andme and people are actually paying to be loaded into the system.

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) Evil Bugeyes Dec 15, 2016 3:49 PM

Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, Nunn, Frist and Roughead are also members of the Rockefeller/CFR. See member lists at cfr dot org. ZH report on how Shultz's grandson blew the whistle on Theranos fraud:


GreatUncle's picture

Play their game ... disinformation is a very powerful weapon, not the fake news concepts they have been giving us for years.

All they do is raise the stakes, so we learn new tricks and if they do not advance fast enough like now we overtake them so the ALT-MEDIA starts to be stronger than the MSM bullshit.

I am surprised more criminals do not make use of this propoganda tool.

Look I am out of town for a few weeks, then I raid the liqueor store, chances are my risk of falling into the computer search pattern of potential suspects just went down.

They are losing the weapon they thought was so kewl for a time because they abused it.


Boris - if it is on Facebook, it is bullshit. 

Suckerburg is media pimp for oligarchs.

Stalin will be proud, when people flagged too many times for telling truth are sent to reeducation camps so official narrative is unopposed. 

Badsamm's picture

If they don't point the finger at CNN they are full of shit. It's a real easy test to pass and show some credibility.

One-Eyed-Thong's picture
One-Eyed-Thong (not verified) Dec 15, 2016 1:24 PM

can i tag the Sandy Hook anniversay story as fake news ??

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Are you a progressive airhead? This ability will be limited to village idiots....

PTR's picture

Please forgive my side-step.

#PizzaGate is global- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7csGNrry9M

And now back to the show.

Jim in MN's picture

LeftBook is nearing the waterfall.....they'll have only themselves to blame.

Remember 'information wants to be free'?

They sure don't. 

Widespreadpanic's picture

"Hit like and share" or millions of syrian babies will die.

balz's picture

Fuck You Facebook.

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Dec 15, 2016 1:27 PM

Time for Facebook II Electric Boogaloo.  It's not like there can't be more than one webpage people.

Why does everyone have such short memories that they can't recall a time when a webpage was just a webpage and there was competition?  Looks like that In-Q-Tel funding + the psyop to destroy the Friendster/MySpace competition was effective in the medium term.  Long term, a monopoly will always be destroyed.

Cruel Joke's picture


Facebook? They still have users?


kellys_eye's picture

Just to be on the safe side I've deleted my FB account.

No more 'fake news' from there any more......

LawsofPhysics's picture

LOL!!!  If only they had tools to detect "fake friends


fuck em!

wisebastard's picture

man i just got on my Fakebook account and its total bull shit........

buzzsaw99's picture

it's the perfect plan. nothing could go wrong with this plan. lulz

Jim in MN's picture

I just put this on FoolBook: 

Looks like Facebook is about to disable itself as an information source.

buzzsaw99's picture

Yah. It's a really good plan. [/Frau Farbissina, Goldmember]

resaci's picture

Facebook sucks


flaminratzazz's picture

the bell tolls for thee

whatamaroon's picture

When I get on Fuckbook maybe later, I am gonna look for the tab that says FB is 'fake'

Implied Violins's picture

I'd write here that this is just another stake through the heart of the First Amendment, but then I'd be accused of treason, so I'll just leave this space blank.