Mark Zuckerberg Outlines 7-Point Plan to Fight Fake News on Facebook

“We take misinformation seriously,” social media platform founder says

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's F8 conference

Mark Zuckerberg has outlined his plan to fight fake news being spread on Facebook.

“The bottom line is: we take misinformation seriously,” the site’s founder, chairman and CEO posted on Facebook late Friday. “Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information. We’ve been working on this problem for a long time and we take this responsibility seriously. We’ve made significant progress, but there is more work to be done.”

The seven-point plan Zuckerberg laid out didn’t get too into specifics, but are, as follows:

  • Stronger detection: including implementing new technology to sniff out false info
  • Easy reporting: for users who spot fake news
  • Third party verification: from recognized fact-checking organizations
  • Warnings: which would alert readers to articles that have been flagged as potentially fake
  • Related articles quality: setting a higher bar for related links that appear below articles
  • Disrupting fake news economics: including better “ad farm detection”
  • Listening: working with journalists for input and fact-checking systems.

Zuckerberg initially downplayed the criticisms that fake news being spread on his social media site could have contributed significantly to swaying the 2016 presidential election, but later made concessions to the contrary.

In a post last week, he acknowledged the widespread criticism, noting: “After the election, many people are asking whether fake news contributed to the result, and what our responsibility is to prevent fake news from spreading. These are very important questions and I care deeply about getting them right.”

However, he insisted that 99 percent of the content on Facebook is authentic, and called it “extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.”

Misinformation spread on Facebook included the notion that the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump. The social network had 1.79 billion monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2016.

Of his new 7-point plan, Zuckerberg said: “Some of these ideas will work well, and some will not. But I want you to know that we have always taken this seriously, we understand how important the issue is for our community and we are committed to getting this right.”