Facebook has partnered with Mumbai based fact checking firm BOOM to fight the spread of false news on its platform. It has started a pilot program in Karnataka ahead of the state elections next month.
In a blog post, Facebook said, “once a story is rated as false, we have been able to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent, and thereby, improve accuracy of information on Facebook and reduce misinformation.”
The blog post added, “We are beginning small and know it is important to learn from this test and listen to our community as we continue to update ways for people to understand what might be false news in their News Feed.”
After this partnership, BOOM will be able to review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy.
The fact-checking will work in following way:
When a fact-checker rates a story as false, fb will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. This in turn stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it.
Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed. This helps curb the spread of financially motivated false news.
If third-party fact-checkers write articles debunking a false news story, fb will show it in Related Articles immediately below the story in News Feed.
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.
The company said, “We also want to empower people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share by providing the community with more information and control.”
Facebook has partnered with third-party checkers in past also. It has similar deals with third-party fact checkers in United States, France, Italy, Philippines, Netherlands, Indonesia.
Some groups and users who feel that Facebook’s fact-checking partnership is biased have opposed these partnerships in past.
BOOM is certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, non-partisan international fact checking network at Poynter.