In its quest to tackle fake news, Facebook has started on a new campaign to prevent the platform from being used to spread dangerous misinformation, saying that it will remove bogus posts likely to spark violence.
“There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “We will begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”
The new tactic from the company was recently tested in Sri Lanka, a country which recently faced multiple inter-religious issues over false information being posted on the social network.
Facebook has stated that it may remove inaccurate or misleading content, such as doctored photos, created or shared to stir up volatile situations in the real world. It is also partnering with local organizations and authorities that are adept at identifying when posts are false and likely to prompt violence. For instance, misinformation which was removed in Sri Lanka under the new policy included content falsely contending that Muslims were poisoning food given or sold to Buddhists, according to Facebook.
The company has also stated that hate speech and threats are deemed credible are violations of Facebook rules, and will be removed with the new campaign.
Considering that it is the world’s biggest social network platform, Facebook undoubtedly has the highest reach towards its audience. However, the service has been misused lately, for instigating hate speeches and spreading false information. As such, Facebook efforts are not just welcome, but also the need of the hour.