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Facebook is now flagging fake news stories as 'disputed'

07 March 2017

In an effort to combat fake or biased news stories, Facebook is introducing a "disputed news" flag to stories disproved by third party groups, NBC News reported.

The tag was originally announced in December, but its gaining traction in the United States as Facebook continues to roll it out.

Only if those two organizations will determine that a specific news article is fake news, will the new disputed tag will have attached to it and displayed in the users' news feeds. With the new "Dispute" feature, users can be hopeful that this won't be the case for long.

This is what Facebook's new tool looks like in practice.

The new labels appear under the suspected fake news, with a red exclamation point in a white triangle.

While the system still has serious issues, the rollout indicates Facebook is least attempting to do something regarding the issue of "fake news".

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Flagging fake news on Facebook as disputed articles will ideally drive users to be more diligent and check the content itself and its source before sharing.

Mark Zuckerberg has already talked about his desire to drive the scourge of fake news from his site, and now we can see this plan in action.

When Facebook announced it would roll out fake news labels past year, it described a system that relied either on its own software or on users to catch possibly fake stories that would then be reviewed by real journalists to determine if the story was false or true. Also, being overly aggressive against fake news may not be in the business interests of Facebook since it could result in lower user engagement which translates to reduced advertising revenues.

"A story may be marked as disputed if these fact-checkers find the story to be fake", it reads.

Facebook has not released information about the tagging system's release in other regions. Facebook also provides links to fact-checking sites that help debunk the original article. The principles include nonpartisanship and transparency in sourcing and funding. The additional scrutiny that will accompany the "disputed" label could make users more aware of which news articles are fake and which are legitimate.

Facebook is now flagging fake news stories as 'disputed'