Facebook said it had begun getting rid of incorrect information that lead to crisis on its platform. This will be hailed by many as a positive step in the right direction considering how misinformation has led to issues of violence online in recent years.
“There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down,” the social networking giant said in a statement, per CNBC “We will be begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”
The new Facebook policy will flag text and image items created or shared specially with the intention of immediately leading to violence will be removed forthwith.
Per usual, Facebook will collaborate with yet-to-be identified third-party local and international organizations including its own internal image recognition technologies to help in identifying offensive items.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, said the company will not remove false items if the social media company does not view such as contributing to violence or physical harm. He stated that the company would rather not give wide coverage to such items in users’ News Feeds.
In trying to make his point clear and free from controversies, Zuckerberg emphasized the need for his company not to meddle into decisions about what is true or false. In a statement per Recode, the Facebook CEO said:
“There are really two core principles at play here,” he said. “There’s giving people a voice, so that people can express their opinions. Then, there’s keeping the community safe, which I think is really important. We’re not gonna let people plan violence or attack each other or do bad things. Within this, those principles have real trade-offs and real tug on each other. In this case, we feel like our responsibility is to prevent hoaxes from going viral and being widely distributed.”
Facebook is forging ahead with its war on fake news and misinformation. Just last month, the social media giant announced a set of tools to help it fight the menace.
The company announced a number of new measures that involved using machine learning to identify fake articles that are copied and pasted by various accounts.
Emphasis this time around will be placed on overseas Facebook pages that often target accounts in the US with financially motivated hoaxes and misinformation. The machine learning tool, according to Buzzfeed, will not only identify pages operated by people who target unsuspecting users for the purpose of making money, it will also reduce their reach.
Two months ago, Papua New Guinea announced that Facebook will be temporarily shut down for one month. This, according to Aljazeera, is to allow the country identify fake accounts and block fake news.
The country’s minister in charge of communication Sam Basil said per the report that the one-month shutdown would “allow information to be collected” about Facebook users who use the website for illegal activities. Those identified as using the social networking site for activities such as uploading of pornography and spreading libelous information will then be removed, the minister said.