Facebook on Tuesday released an update to its popular social media platform which greatly reduces the distribution of posts that are reported as news feed hoaxes.
Mark Zuckerberg and company began implementing sweeping changes to the news feed when an increasing number of users complained that hoaxes were beginning to over populate their accounts. Scams typically offer some type of incentive to click on links or they portray fake news stories that lead users to phishing scams and virus laden websites.
“People often share these hoaxes and later decide to delete their original posts after they realize they’ve been tricked,” said Facebook software engineer Erich Owens and research scientist Udi Weinsberg in a blog post. “In fact, our testing found people are two times more likely to delete these types of posts after receiving such a comment from a friend.”
Facebook users may still see spam in their news feeds, but they can now report those posts, much in the same way they report other forms of Facebook spam.
When a post is flagged as fake, the amount of distribution it receives in a news feed quickly declines. When a post receives a large number of flags, it is marked as being a potential fake news story or scam.
Here is a demo post showcasing a potential fake news story:
The update is not expected to hurt websites such as The Onion, which rely heavily on fake but satirical news. Facebook’s engineers explain that “people tend to not report satirical content intended to be humorous, or content that is clearly labeled as satire.”
Only time will tell if Facebook’s news feed spam protections will keep true to its promise of reducing fake and potentially harmful content links.
This article was written by James Kosur from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.