Facebook will start rolling out its fake news filter in Germany, reports The Verge. The filter will let users tag fake news as fake, warn others, or block users sharing such news. Facebook will also evaluate the reported news in partnership with independent fact-checking organizations.
The social media network first started rolling out these tools in the US last month. The company said then that it would work with Snopes, Politifact, ABS News and FactCheck.org to identify hoaxes and fake news tagged by users. If disputed, Facebook would warn users trying to share the story that it has been marked as false, stating “independent fact-checkers have disputed its accuracy.”
For Germany, Facebook’s fact checking system will send reported stories to the nonprofit news organization Correctiv in Berlin. As is in the US, stories that are deemed disputed will warn users that attempt to share them, and will be rated lower on the News Feed. The company mentions that it will look to launch these tools in other counties as well. Interestingly, this move comes after Justice Minister of Germany had said that Facebook should be regulated as a media company, making it responsible for content published.
Note that Facebook has come under flak for false stories – like the one about the Pope endorsing Donald Trump before the election which outperformed real news – for adversely affecting fair elections. With elections in Germany coming up this year, and the regulators even planning the creation of ‘center of defense’ against fake news, Facebook seems to have decided to up its game and launch filtering features in Germany as well.