To combat the spread of "fake news" on its platform, Facebook is partnering with third-party fact-checking organizations in different parts of the world as one of the ways to better identify and reduce the reach of false news that people share on Facebook. In India, Facebook has partnered with BOOM, an independent digital journalism initiative certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, for a pilot in Karnataka.

BOOM, which is India’s premier fact checking website bringing its readers verified facts rather than opinion, will review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy.

Boom will review flagged stories thereafter these stories will be placed lower in the News Feed and will be less visible.

For pages that frequently share false stories, their post distribution will be reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise will likely be removed.

People who will try share a fake story will receive a notification that the post has been determined by the fact checker to be false.

As a global phenomena, false & fake news, lies have ripped countries apart as a society, fomenting hate and anger. Last December, seven people lost their lives in two separate incidences in Jharkhand, in a fury that was born on social media and based on falsified information that the killers received over WhatsApp, a messenger owned by Facebook.

Facebook is running similar initiatives in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines and the US.

In its blogpost, the Facebook said that it believes that “once a story is rated as false, we have been able to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent, and thereby, improve accuracy of information on Facebook and reduce misinformation”.

Facebook has already stated that it will use reports from community along with other signals to send stories to fact-checking organizations. In the Philippines, Facebook's fact-checking partner Rappler has documented the disinformation and misinformation online which shape public opinion and influence critical decisions

“We are beginning small and know it is important to learn from this test and listen to our community as we continue to update ways for people to understand what might be false news in their News Feed,” it said.

Detailing out the process, Facebook said after a story is rated as false by the fact-checker, it will figure lower in News Feed, “significantly reducing its distribution”.

“This in turn stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it. Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetise and advertise removed,” it said.

This, Facebook said, will help curb the spread of “financially motivated false news”.

“We also want to empower people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share by providing the community with more information and control… If third-party fact-checkers write articles debunking a false news story, we’ll show it in Related Articles immediately below the story in News Feed,” Facebook said.

Facebook will also send people and Page administrators notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that has been determined to be false.

“While third party fact checking is part of our ongoing efforts to combat spread of false news, we are working hard to improve the accuracy of information on Facebook in various ways,” it added.

The above news was first reported in Times of India.

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