Facing Facts: Facebook’s Fight Against Misinformation

By John Hegeman, Head of News Feed

Over the last couple of years, we have been working hard to reduce the spread of false news on Facebook through a combination of technology and human review. Today, we have three announcements to share related to this work.

‘Facing Facts’ Short Film
To better communicate our approach, we’re releasing “Facing Facts,” a short film that provides an inside look at our fight against misinformation. To make the film, director Morgan Neville spent time with key members of the News Feed team to reveal how we’re thinking about this complex problem and marshaling forces against it. The film is one of the first pieces of content from Inside Feed, a new site dedicated to shedding light on the people and processes behind Facebook’s products and algorithms.

News Literacy Campaign
As the film outlines, misinformation is a nuanced and complicated problem that we’re combating from multiple angles. Building on previous work in this space, we’re also releasing an updated news literacy campaign that provides people with tips to spot false news and more information on the actions that we’re taking. This will appear at the top of News Feed and in print ads, starting in the US and reaching other countries throughout the year.

Measuring Misinformation Through Academic Commission
Finally, measuring progress in our fight against misinformation is challenging, but critically important. In April, Facebook announced a new initiative to help provide independent research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally. In the coming weeks, the commission will lead a request for proposals to measure the volume and effects of misinformation on Facebook. They will then manage a peer review process to select which scholars will receive funding for their research, and access to privacy-protected data sets from Facebook. This will help keep us accountable and track our progress over time.

You can read more about our strategy for stopping false news in a new post in our Hard Questions series.

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