Facebook’s Misinformation Team Features on “Junk News” by PBS

By Nitish Singh / May 18, 2018

PBS NewsHour concluded its four-part series “Junk News” with the Facebook Misinformation team featuring on the show. The show covered the impact of fake news online and the rise of misinformation. In its fourth and final part of the series, the Facebook team discussed how the social media company is trying to keep junk news away from its platform.

Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it has taken down over 865 million posts during the first quarter of 2018. More than half a billion fake Facebook accounts have also been disabled by the company. The company is trying to crack down on false news and fake accounts that can negatively influence the public.

In the PBS show, Facebook talked about how the social media company is trying to fix the News Feed, which has become home to a variety of fake news for users. The team feels that the design of the News Feed is not bad, but it requires some work to ensure only quality content shows up.

Product manager of News Feed integrity Tessa Lyons discussed how there are two major goals Facebook has in mind for the News Feed currently. The first is to continue letting the platform be free and open to a wide spectrum of ideas. The second goal is to reduce misinformation as much as possible, which means there is a thin line between the two ideas. The company does not want to delete misinformation as they do not consider themselves to be the “arbiters of truth”.

Watch the first part of PBS' News Hour TV shows about fake news.

The second part:

The third part:

The fourth and final part:

Censorship and fully removing information are not part of how Facebook’s content controls work. Instead, the company wants to add context to any misinformation so Facebook users can differentiate between fake and real news by themselves. With the 2018 mid-term elections in the US incoming, Facebook has decided to ramp up its efforts to prevent the spread of misinformation more actively than ever.

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