Those who one day believed in the citizen journalism as the new source of information, don’t saw how easy is to fool some people and make them spread a hoax. Some hoax are just classics: “Resend this message to prevent Messenger become a paid service” was one of the all time biggest. Now, Facebook don’t wants to be the hoax channel and it is testing some ways to spot that fake content. Let’s wait and see.
What are hoaxes?
Hoaxes are a form of News Feed spam that includes scams (“Click here to win a lifetime supply of coffee”), or deliberately false or misleading news stories (“Man sees dinosaur on hike in Utah”). People often share these hoaxes and later decide to delete their original posts after they realize they have been tricked. These types of posts also tend to receive lots of comments from friends letting people know this is a hoax, and comments containing links to hoax-busting websites. 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.
Recently, Facebook added an option for people to report a story they see in News Feed as false. This works in the same way as reporting a story as spam. When you click to hide a story you also have the option to report the content. Stories that include scams, or deliberately misleading news, are reported two and a half times more often than links to other news stories.
What’s the update?
To reduce the number of these types of posts, News Feed will take into account when many people flag a post as false. News Feed will also take into account when many people choose to delete posts. This means a post with a link to an article that many people have reported as a hoax or chosen to delete will get reduced distribution in News Feed. This update will apply to posts including links, photos, videos and status updates.
Posts that receive lots of reports will be annotated with a message warning people that many others on Facebook have reported it.