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Facebook Will Flag And Filter Fake News In Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will run for her fourth term in fall this year. PHOTO: Markus Schreiber/AP

By Federico Guerrini | 16 January 2017

FORBES — In an effort to minimize the effect of false rumors on the social and political debate, Facebook will soon begin to test out a fake news filtering tool in Germany, just in time for the federal elections, which are scheduled to take place in the next months.

A timely move, which could have also been motivated by fear of a proposed law in Germany which would levy a €500,000 ($523,320) fine for each single piece of misinformation published and not removed by the network within 24 hours.

With the new system, the Financial Times writes, in the coming weeks German users of the network will be able to report a story as “fake”. It will then be sent to Correctiv, and independent, Berlin-based, fact-checking organization, which will examine it. It the fact-checkers deem the story as unreliable, it will be flagged as “disputed.”

People will be able to share it on Facebook nonetheless, but they will receive a warning. The article will also be less visible, as will not be prioritized by the news feed algorithm.

In December, Facebook started to introduce a similar approach in the US, partnering with news organization like ABC News and the AP, plus fact-checking groups Politifact, Snopes and FactCheck to verify controversial stories. […]

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