Facebook is going to start fact checking, labeling, and burying fake news and hoaxes in the News Feed, the company announced on Thursday.
“Fake news” is what we used to call “propaganda”.
Facebook has been aware of the propaganda platform issue since at least 2014. Many users (like me) use FB less because we recognize that FB is an ideal platform for the friction-less distribution of propaganda messaging – by professional propaganda organizations, small groups, and individuals.
Facebook is testing a method of flagging potential fake news (aka propaganda) and cross checking those items with Snopes, Factcheck.org, ABC News and PolitiFact.
However, it seems unlikely this system will be sufficient to recognize fake news articles like this “Denmark is the world’s happiest country” or “Someone died because Republicans would rather fund wars than highways” and many more examples on this web site. Thus, these new tools are likely to have limited success, particularly as clever propagandists figure out ways to bypass the FB truthiness test.
Further, many of the “Fact checking” organizations make mistakes or have biases, but there does not appear to be a way to flag a biased or incorrect “fact check”.
Update: The Snopes founders and small staff have a lot of baggage, to put it mildly.