Facebook is using a reliability score to stamp out trolls

Facebook starts rating users on trust to combat fake news

Facebook starts rating users on trust to combat fake news

A hot potato: Facebook's latest approach to curbing the spread of fake news doesn't target misinformation specifically but rather, the people who share it.

Facebook told The Washington Post it relies in part on reports from users to help identify fake and malicious stories.

The social media giant said earlier this year that it was rolling out the trust-rating system for media outlets on the platform, which aimed to rank news websites based on the quality and trustworthiness of their output - and in turn to rank the posts of better-rated or more "trustworthy" news sites higher on users' feeds.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to HuffPost that the company is keeping an eye on user behavior for the objective of establishing credibility, but disputed the Post's characterization of it as a broad assessment of trustworthiness on par with, say, a credit score. Facebook sends news articles reported as false to third-party fact checkers to verify. Other signals are used to evaluate users when they flag articles as false, but Facebook won't say what they are because it does not want people to game the system. If someone regularly and wrongly flags news stories as false, they'll get a low rating, which later helps Facebook's fact-checking team decide whether to even review their flagged stories in the first place. The score, instead, would be one of the thousands of behavioural cues which the company takes into account while understanding an individual user as it moves to tackle the issue.

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This article was originally published by The Washington Post. Her hesitation stems from not wanting to tip off bad actors on how the process works as doing so could allow them to easily game the system.

The rating only applies to people who flag content as fake, and is meant to weed out users who flag everything.

Exactly how the new reputation score is being used is unclear.

Users who report what appears to be bogus news are given a standard probability score of from zero to one depending on how reliable they are when it comes to reporting posts that are untrue, according to the social network.

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