uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more »
Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

Facebook launches fake news clampdown

The social network will use new measures to tackle spam, misinformation and deceptive content.

US President Donald Trump has often criticised negative commentary as
US President Donald Trump has often criticised negative commentary as "fake news".
Image: Pete Marovich DPA/PA Images

FACEBOOK HAS SAID it has started weeding out bogus accounts by watching for suspicious behavior such as repetitive posts or torrents of messages.

The security improvement was described as being part of a broader effort to rid the leading social network of hoaxes, misinformation, and fake news by making sure people are who they claim to be.

“We’ve found that when people represent themselves on Facebook the same way they do in real life, they act responsibly,” Shabnam Shaik of the Facebook protect and care team said in a blog post.

Fake accounts don’t follow this pattern, and are closely related to the creation and spread of spam.

Accounts suspected of being bogus are suspended and holders asked to verify identities, which scammers typically don’t do, according to the California-based social network.

In France, the new tactic has already resulted in Facebook taking action against 30,000 accounts believed to be fakes, Shaik said.

“We’ve made improvements to recognise these inauthentic accounts more easily by identifying patterns of activity – without assessing the content itself,” Shaik said.

“With these changes, we expect we will also reduce the spread of material generated through inauthentic activity, including spam, misinformation, or other deceptive content that is often shared by creators of fake accounts.”

Under pressure to stymie the spread of fake news, Facebook has taken a series of steps including making it easier to report such posts and harder to make money from them.

Facebook also modified its displays of trending topics to find stories faster, capture a broader range of news, and help ensure that trends reflect real world events being covered by multiple news outlets.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has sought to deflect criticism that the huge social network may have been used to fuel the spread of misinformation that affected the 2016 US presidential race.

Facebook last week unleashed a new weapon in the war against “revenge porn” at the social network as well as the messaging services Messenger and Instagram.

When intimate images shared on Facebook without permission are reported, confirmed and removed, the company will use photo-matching technology to prevent copies from being shared again on its platform.

- © AFP, 2017

Read: Germany to fine tech giants up to €50 million for hate speech and fake news

Read: Google vows fix for ‘inappropriate’ search results

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:


Read next: