Facebook aims to filter more fake news from news feeds

That person who always posts those questionable fake news links in your Facebook news feed — you may see less of them going forward.

Facebook is rolling out an update to its news feeds to help prevent the spread of fake news, Adam Mosseri, vice president of product management, said in a blog post on the company web site Friday. The update aims to reduce the influence of Facebook users who "routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day, effectively spamming people's feeds," he said.

Facebook's research found a "tiny group" of users on the network share links -- sometimes up to 50 within a 24-hour period -- that "tend to include low quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation."

By deprioritizing those users' "low quality" links, Facebook hopes to improve users experiences with more informative and entertaining content, Mosseri said. If users interact with the links, however, you may still see those links in your feed.

This is the latest move by Facebook to attempt to improve users' news feeds. The giant social network — it just surpassed 2 billion users — took criticism for its role in the spread of misinformation online during the presidential election.

After the election, Facebook barred fake news sites from using its ad-selling services. It also made it easier to report hoaxes and began labelling certain stories as "disputed" in an attempt to lower the amount of fake news passed along. Last month, the social media giant targeted "clickbait" headlines that withhold or exaggerate details.

A recent review by The Guardian questioned the effectiveness of Facebook's initiatives, suggesting the social network's "highly promoted initiatives are regularly ineffective, and in some cases appear to be having minimal impact."

The spread of fake news and clickbait could be taking its toll on users of Facebook and other social media, despite its value as a news source.

More than one-third (34%) of Americans said they had less trust in information found on social media, according to The 20th annual State of the First Amendment survey, out Thursday from The First Amendment Center at the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C. More than half (51%) said their trust level in news on social media was unchanged, while about 9% said their trust increased.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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