Some Facebook users oftentimes were led to believe that a peculiar story posted on the social network giant’s News Feed is true, but it is actually a hoax.
Erich Owens, a software Engineer and Udi Weinsberg, a research scientist at Facebook announced today that the social network giant released an update to the News Feed that allows users to report posts as “fake news story.”
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Facebook users want lesser hoax stories on News Feed
In a blog post, Owens and Weinsberg emphasized that Facebook released the update as the company continues to improve users’ experience. According to them, many people sent a feedback indicating that they want to see lesser hoax or misleading stories posted on their New Feed.
“Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook,”
Owens and Weinsberg clarified that Facebook is not removing stories reported by people as false. The social network giant is not reviewing content and determining the accuracy of every story.
Facebook explains how to reduce distribution of hoax stories
According to them, Facebook hoax stories are a form of News Feed spam that includes scams, false or misleading news stories. The social network giant said the new option added for users to report that a story is false works the same way as reporting a spam.
Facebook explained that News Feed will take into account the number of users, who reported that a post is false or deleted a content to reduce the distribution of hoax stories.
“This means a post with a link to an article that many people have reported as a hoax or chosen to delete will get reduced distribution in News Feed. This update will apply to posts including links, photos, videos and status updates,” according to Facebook.
The social network giant also emphasized that the update will not affect contents that are considered satire. Last year, the company tested a satire tag to help users clearly determine the difference between a true and a satirical news headline.
Facebook said only a small set of publishers who frequently post hoaxes and scams will be impacted.