Facebook expands fact-checking initiative to new countries

San Francisco, (IANS) Facebook has announced to expand its fact-checking programme to new countries that aims to fight spread of fake news on its platform.

The social media giant now has the fact-checking programme running in 14 countries and plans to scale to more countries by the end of the year.

“These certified, independent fact-checkers rate the accuracy of stories on Facebook, helping us reduce the distribution of stories rated as false by an average of 80 per cent,” Tessa Lyons, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday.

In India, Facebook already is in partnership with a Mumbai-based fact checking organisation called Boom.

Like other Facebook fact-checking partners, Boom is certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, a non-partisan international fact checking network at Poynter.

Facebook has also expanded its test to fact-check photos and videos to four countries.

“The test includes those that are manipulated (a video that is edited to show something that did not really happen) or taken out of context (a photo from a previous tragedy associated with a different, present day conflict),” the company said.

Machine learning is helping Facebook identify duplicates of debunked stories.

“We’re going to start working with our fact-checking partners to use Schema.orgas aClaim Review’, an open-source framework used by various technology companies and fact-checking organisations,” Lyons said.

To help curb foreign interference in public discourse, Facebook said it is going to use Machine Learning to help identify and demote foreign Pages that are likely to spread financially-motivated hoaxes to people in other countries.

In April, Facebook announced a new elections research commission to help provide independent research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally.

“We’re currently working with the commission to develop privacy-protected data sets, which will include a sample of links that people engage with on Facebook,” the company added.

Medaram Jathara

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