Menlo Park, CA — Facebook announced today that it is piloting a program to fact-check all posts for accuracy and truthfulness. The social media giant has come under fire recently for allowing various fake news posts to run uncontrolled through its pages without any oversight. Such “viral” activity has led to rumors being spread at a rapid pace, with Facebook users doing the work by sharing questionable articles.
“We want our users on Facebook to have an enjoyable experience,” said Facebook Director of Marketing Bethany Millbright reading from a prepared statement. “And being fooled by free lifetime passes to McDonald’s or rumors of Obama Satanic ceremonies in the Capitol building is not the kind of Facebook we want our users to experience. So today, we are launching our Facebook Integrity Program, or FIP for short, which will use both people and computer-powered automation to check posts for authenticity and accuracy.”
In a new study of Facebook that analyzed posts made between 2010 and 2014, a group of scholars found that people shared information that confirmed their prejudices and paid no attention to facts. The report says this resulted in the “proliferation of biased narratives fomented by unsubstantiated rumors, mistrust and paranoia.” According to Facebook, this was a key driver in implementing FIP: their users’ complete lack of critical thinking skills and impulsive behavior.
“We want to protect our users from falsehoods,” continued Ms. Millbright. “We realize how easy it has become to simply hit the share button and spread rumors and sensational stories. We want our users to understand that Facebook is watching everything you do.”
Although details of the program are scarce at the moment, Gish Gallop has learned that Facebook is partnering with the popular debunking site Snopes.com and the National Security Agency or NSA to help develop computer algorithms to “sniff out” bogus stories and pictures and label them with a large question mark to give users an idea that what they may be viewing is questionable.
“We immediately reached out to Snopes.com because of their experience in debunking fake Internet articles, but also due to their deep financial resources due to investments from financier George Soros ,” said a confident Ms. Millbright. “As for the NSA, we had no choice but to partner with them as it’s a part of their ongoing national security efforts, which FIP falls under.”
Other social media platforms such as Twitter declined to comment on Facebook’s new program, but industry insiders admit that if Twitter implemented a similar program, its feeds would vanish overnight.