Today’s world of constantly evolving technology paired with the popularity of social networking sites allows us instant access to breaking news, trending activities and information at our fingertips. We are consistently bombarded with news every time we open our smart phones. In addition to having information available to us 24/7, we also have the ability to share information with millions of people with the click of just one button. News spreads like wildfire, but what happens when it’s fake news? The recent 2016 presidential election surely highlighted just how quickly fake news stories trending on apps like Facebook can quickly create an epidemic.
In response to this growing issue, Facebook publicly took action to forbid pages from purchasing ads to promote fake news articles earlier this year. However, this process (which involved third party fact checking) did not fully solve the problem as pages could still purchase ads linking to verified news in an effort to drive traffic to their pages – where, you guessed it; they were still sharing fake news articles.
On Monday, Facebook announced it’s taking things a step further by banning pages that are flagged as repeatedly publishing fake news stories from purchasing any ad space on their site. Facebook product managers Satwik Shukla and Tessa Lyons stated the following in a company blog post, “If Pages stop sharing false news, they may be eligible to start running ads again.” The full blog post can be found HERE.
Although this new policy will undoubtedly reduce revenue for the company, Facebook remains committed to slowing and/or stopping fake news and false information from spreading on its site. As consumers, we can all do our part to report posts that violate Facebook rules and/or promote fake news directly to Facebook.