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Fighting Fake News, Facebook Shrinks Link Postage For Doubtful Stories

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| April 29 , 2018 , 18:38 IST

Facebook's bad days are yet to get over. Following the red warning labels backfired to flag fake news, the social networking giant is now literally sizing down the doubtful stories to prevent the triumph of falsehood on its platform.

Facebook doesn't want its users to read or watch the fake stories at the time of scrolling their News Feed which is why as a part of its new strategy, the platform is discretely trying to reduce their visibility without withdrawing them altogether.

A TechCrunch report suggests the platform is walking a fine line "between censorship and sensibility." When an article is verified as inaccurate by the social network's third-party fact-checkers, Facebook will shrink the size of the linked post in the News Feed.

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"We reduce the visual prominence of feed stories that are fact-checked false," a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying. To combat the menace of fake news, Facebook earlier introduced red warning labels.

However, the feature has led some users to share the false stories even more aggressively, forcing the social network to ditch the red flag. Facebook then started showing "Related Articles" from trusted news sources in the hope of offering its users the correct perspective.

The latest move is to reduce the visual prominence of inaccurate stories. Facebook has detailed its new tactics to fight fake news at its Fighting Abuse @Scale event in San Francisco. The platform is now using machine learning to look at newly published articles and scan them for signs of falsehood. 

"We use machine learning to help predict things that might be more likely to be false news, to help prioritize material we send to fact-checkers (given the large volume of potential material)," a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.