Facebook to Start Labelling Suspicious News

February 14, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. flag / flæg / (v.) – to put a mark or label on something to warn people about it
Example: The video was removed after users flagged it as inappropriate.

2. hoax / hoʊks / (n.) – something that is not true and is made to deceive someone
Example: Do not believe her story; it’s a hoax.

3. dashboard / ˈdæʃˌbɔrd / (n.) – a webpage where the contents of a website can be managed
Example: The articles may be edited in the blogging site’s dashboard.

4. disputed / dɪˈspjutəd / (adj.) – having questionable reliability
Example: The disputed results of the research received criticism from doctors.

5. reliability / rɪˌlaɪ əˈbɪl ɪ ti / (n.) – the quality of being believable and trustworthy
Example: News writers check the reliability of information before reporting them.


Read the text below.
Suspected fake news stories will now be flagged by Facebook, the social media giant announced last December.

In its attempt to combat the spread of fake news, Facebook is designing ways to make reporting a suspected hoax easier for users. The company has also partnered with five fact-checking organizations to assess the accuracy and authenticity of viral stories on its platform. These organizations include ABC News, Associated Press, FactCheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes. The partner organizations will not be paid for their services.

Netizens will be able to report news that they suspect to be false. If an article gets enough reports, it will be forwarded to Facebook’s fact-checking partners. The suspected fake news will be compiled in a dashboard, and fact-checkers will be given access to this compilation.

The fact-checkers will then investigate the reported stories. If at least two of the organizations identify a story as fake, Facebook will mark the article as “disputed.”  Disputed stories will come with a link that explains why it was flagged, and they will also appear lower in the social networking site’s News Feed. Facebook users will still be able to share these stories, but they will receive a warning about the stories’ reliability.

The initiative is Facebook’s response to accusations that the site was one of the sources of fake news stories related to the 2016 US Presidential Elections.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered accusations through a Facebook post. In his statement, he said that the company takes misinformation seriously and further added that it will keep striving toward the goal of connecting people with meaningful and accurate stories.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that this initiative will be effective in preventing the spread of fake news on Facebook? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, who is most responsible for the spread of fake news (i.e., Facebook users, fake news sites, etc.)?

Discussion B

·         What are the possible reasons why fake news stories are created?
·         How do fake news stories impact people’s lives?

February 14, 2017