Facebook has shut down thousands of accounts across the U.K. in an effort to fight “fake news” ahead of the country’s general election.
WIRED reports that following Facebook’s pledge to fight “fake news” in April, the social media company has removed “tens of thousands” of fake accounts in an effort to fight the spread of misinformation across the platform.
Simon Miller, Facebook’s Director of Policy for the UK, said, “People want to see accurate information on Facebook and so do we. That is why we are doing everything we can to tackle the problem of false news. We can’t solve this problem alone so we are supporting third party fact-checkers during the election in their work with news organizations, so they can independently assess facts and stories.”
Breitbart has previously reported on the partisan fact checkers used by Facebook to determine what is classified as “fake news.” The independent U.K. fact checking group Full Fact have compiled a list of “fake news” identification tips. Facebook will be showing a notice from today advertising this list across U.K. news feeds.
Facebook has stated that they have made changes to how they detect “fake news,” now recognizing posting patterns, allowing them to delete misinformation without having to assess the content. “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,” the site said.
Facebook has also changed how news stories are ranked as part of a new initiative called Informed Sharing. “We’ve found that if reading an article makes people significantly less likely to share it, that may be a sign that a story has misled people in some way,” the site said. For example, articles that are shared without being read are more likely to be flagged as fake news and those that are not shared after being read are also seen as suspicious by the website.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org