On 18th July, Facebook stated that it plans to strengthen its campaign on preventing the spread of dangerous misinformation by removing fake posts likely to spark violence.
Facebook Takes Action against Malicious Fake News
This new approach being implemented through the massive social network was tested in Sri Lanka where there was recently inter-religious friction over false information posted on Facebook.
“There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down,” a Facebook spokesman said following a meeting concerning the policy at the company’s campus in Silicon Valley. “We will begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”
Facebook may remove inaccurate or misleading content, such as doctored photos or fake news, created or shared to instigate tension or hostilities in the real world.
The social network said it is collaborating with local organizations and authorities skilled at identifying such posts.
False information taken down in Sri Lanka in regards to the new policy included content falsely claiming that Muslims were poisoning food given or sold to Buddhists, claims Facebook.
The new policy steps it up another notch by also removing content that may not be blatantly violent but which seems likely to promote such behaviour.
Facebook has been harshly criticised in the past for allowing rumours or obviously false information to be spread on the platform that may have given rise to violence.
Many see Facebook as tool being wrongly used being used for the spread of misinformation in recent years. Facebook has carried out a series of changes aimed at battling against the use of the social network to spread false information, from false allegations which invoke violence to lies that influence elections.