Facebook Promises Less Hoax Stories and Spam Posts In Users’ News Feeds

Written by on January 21, 2015 in Media & Arts, Social Media with 0 Comments

 | The Guardian

ook posts reported as false by lots of users will now come with a warning.

ook posts reported as false by lots of users will now come with a warning.

No, Bill Gates isn’t giving away $5,000 if you share his Facebook photo. No, the Talking Angela app isn’t a front for online paedophiles. And no, an entire small town in Texas has not been put into Ebola quarantine.

These are just three examples of hoaxes that have spread widely on Facebook in recent years, as gullible users shared them with friends and family. Sometimes it was pure, mischievous scaremongering, but some Facebook hoaxes were more malign: bait to get people to click through to malware-ridden websites.

Now the social network is cracking down with changes to its news feed that will ensure its users see fewer hoax and spam posts, while providing a warning of their potential falsity when they are seen.

“We’ve heard from people that they want to see fewer stories that are hoaxes, or misleading news,” explained Facebook software engineer Erich Owens and research scientist Udi Weinsberg in a blog post announcing the changes.

“Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook.”

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