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Facebook Announces Further Steps to Block the Purposeful Spread of Misinformation

Facebook recently announced that they are going to be stepping up the level of protection for their platform as they work to further eliminate the spread of fake news. Specifically, Facebook has decided to target Information Operations which are typically started with the goal of spreading misinformation to manipulate political sentiment. While the initial users in these operations are working to spread the information purposefully, real users often get caught up in the operation and take part unknowingly. Facebook has already begun to use different tools to prevent this, which have succeeded in identifying 30,000 fake accounts that Facebook was able to take action against.

Facebook’s focus on preventing these accounts from operating within their platform stems from the fact that hackers used Facebook as a tool for spreading misinformation during the U.S. election. Facebook’s plan to prevent this in the future, includes using new tools to identify strange behavior. They have created algorithms which can block bots from creating fake accounts and others that can recognize when accounts post the same item again and again or send a huge number of messages.

 

Preventing these Information Operations is something that is more complex than fighting traditional scammers and hackers. This is why Facebook has had to spend time working on creating tools to identify false accounts so that Facebook can suspend them or delete the accounts. These tools include machine learning software and tools that encompass intelligence-agency level analysis. The hope is to prevent the unnatural spread of false information before it reaches real accounts that begin spreading it further.

 

Facebook has stated that they’ll be doing more to stop the spread of fake news through their platform. They intend Facebook to be a place for people to engage and communicate much more authentically. As fake accounts and the spread of false information can drown out real conversation, they are determined to eliminate this as much as possible by creating new tools to identify and shut down these practices.

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