Facebook is taking the first steps to combat the spread of misinformation and "fake news" on its platform. On Thursday, the company announced that it has partnered with multiple fact-checking organizations and is making it easier for users to report instances of misinformation.
The two tools will work hand-in-hand, as users flag fake news, the stories will be sent to third-party fact-checking organizations, including Snopes, Politifact, ABC News, and FactCheck.org. "If the fact checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why," the announcement reads. "Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed." Users will still be able to share disputed stories, but a warning will pop up notifying the user that story is disputed. Disputed stories will not be allowed to be turned into ads or promoted.
"We have a responsibility to make sure Facebook has the greatest positive impact on the world," Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook regarding the new tools. "This update is just one of many steps forward, and there will be more work beyond this."
Facebook came under fire following the election, when many pointed to the social site as the primary source of fake news stories leading up the election. Company officials, including Zuckerberg, initially denied any culpability in the spread of misinformation surrounding the election. Facebook announced plans in November to introduce measures to stop the spread of fake news and cut off ad revenue from these posts.