Facebook is discontinuing its “fake news” alert feature, after discovering that the initiative, which was intended to identify and stop the spread of misinformation on the platform, was sometimes backfiring.
Instead of a red warning icon, the company will offer users additional related and fact-checked content in the hope of drawing readers toward more reliable news sources, according to Facebook project manager Tessa Lyons.
Facebook’s introduced a “Disputed” article flagging feature to help users quickly identify articles from third-party websites that failed to pass a fact-checking standard. But the indicator, which was rolled out in December 2016, wasn’t effective at curbing misinformation, Facebook said, and sometimes even spurred readers to share dubious links more often.
Research showed that “putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs – the opposite effect to what we intended,” [...]