How Facebook Plans To Step Up Its Effort To Combat Fake News

Facebook is planning to have community reviewers to fact check content posted on the platform

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At a time when social media companies have been facing global heat for lack of proper data management system and spread of misinformation, Mark Zuckerberg-owned Facebook has been trying to ramp up its efforts for combating fake news. Now, the social media giant is planning to have community reviewers to fact check content being posted on the platform. 

According to the official statement, these community reviewers will work as researchers to find information to contradict online hoaxes or corroborate other claims. The reviewers will not be Facebook employees but will be hired on contract through Facebook partners. 

Currently, the process is under pilot in the US. According to Facebook, combining the expertise of third-party fact-checkers with  community-based reviewers will help them evaluate misinformation faster and remove such content.

For this initiative, Facebook partnered with global public opinion and data company, YouGov,  who conducted an independent study of community reviewers and Facebook users. 

How Will It Work

  • Machine learning model will identify potential misinformation using a variety of signals including comments on the post that express disbelief or if a post is being shared by Pages who had spread misinformation in the past. 

  • The content will be sent to a diverse group of community reviewers if a post is indicated to have misinformation.

  • The community reviewers will be then asked to identify the main claim in the post. They will research and try to find other sources that either support or refute that claim. 

  • Fact-checking partners will then be able to see a collective assessment of community reviewers as a signal in selecting which stories to review and rate.

Facebook’s Efforts In India

Last month, Facebook announced a slew of India-focused initiatives to accelerate digital literacy efforts in the country:

  • Partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development: Facebook has partnered with MWCD to build digital literacy to safeguard women and children by raising awareness about online privacy, safety and security. Under this:

  1.  Facebook launched #CreateCareConnect comic series to educate young users about online safety in a simple, fun and engaging way;

  2. In 2020, Facebook plans to launch another Thumbstoppers campaign - a series of short creative mobile videos under 10 seconds from India’s advertising community which will focus on empowering and educating people on issues like gender equality, domestic violence and education for the girl child.

  • Formation of Ideal Internet Consortium: Led by the Aarambh India Initiative, Ideal Internet Consortium is a working group of child safety practitioners who will use real field experience and research to deliberate over safety issues and propose recommendations for civil society, industry and government. The consortium has seven focus group discussions with young people from cities across  Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand and Kerala. The findings will help to create strategies focused on keeping young users safe online.  

  • Launch of We Think Digital: Facebook announced the launch of We Think Digital, a global digital literacy program under which it will partner with agencies from both government and civil society. The program will use learning modules designed to teach people skills, including the ability to think critically about what they see online, how to communicate respectfully and engage in digital discourse. 

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