Facebook to fact-check news in poll-bound Karnataka
Facebook has partnered with an independent digital journalism platform BOOM to launch a fact-checking program in India. As a pilot, Facebook will first roll out the initiative in Karnataka ahead of its upcoming polls in May. This will help Facebook combat the spreading of fake news through its platform. Elections will be held in Karnataka on May 12.
"BOOM, certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, non-partisan international fact-checking network at Poynter, will be able to review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy," Facebook said in an official blog post.
"When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution," Facebook said. The company can reportedly reduce a fake story's distribution by 80%. Further, the articles that objective, third-party fact-checkers write to debunk a false news story will be featured immediately below the original story in the News Feed, and also in "Related Articles."
Facebook also claims that it will reduce the distribution of Pages and domains that repeatedly share fake news. The company can also remove their ability to monetize and advertise. "We'll also send people and Page Admins notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that's been determined to be false," Facebook noted.
This comes as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier promised to maintain the integrity of elections in India. "2018 is an important year. Several countries like India, Pakistan will have elections. We'll do everything possible to ensure these elections are safe," he said while testifying before the US Congress last week. Facebook is running similar initiatives in France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Indonesia, and the US.