20 September 2018

Machine learning to stop hoaxes and fake news

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Facebook debuted a host of new efforts Thursday in its fight against fake news. reports citing Gizmodo.

In a blog post from product manager Tessa Lyons, Facebook announced a series of new partnerships and expansions to its fact-checking endeavours, including fact-checking viral photos and images and the use of machine learning to stop the spread of hoaxes and fake news.

“Using machine learning we’re able to identify and demote duplicates of articles that were rated false by fact-checkers,” Lyons said to BuzzFeed. “These pages often copy and paste content [from other sources], and another signal is that the website themselves are covered in low-quality ads. We also see a common pattern in that page admins based in one country are targeting people in other countries.”

Interestingly, being flagged for hoaxes doesn’t necessarily lead to a ban. Facebook says it plans to warn and demonetize pages that violate the rules, but then reinstate these pages if they stop sharing hoaxes.

“There is that ability to kind of rehabilitate [your page],” Lyon said.

These kinds of errors are already happening as part of the social network’s efforts to clean up its platform. This week, Facebook rejected an ad for a news story on child detention centres for its “political” content, prompting a backlash and familiar accusations of bias. With the midterm elections fast approaching, Facebook can expect even more scrutiny of all of its moderation efforts, automated or not.

2018.06.23 / 12:56
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