Facebook began slapping a “disputed” tag on stories that its system deems fake on Friday, March 3, US time.
Gizmodo first spotted the tag, which was applied to a story from The Seattle Tribune about Trump’s phone being the source of the White House leaks. Facebook also provides links to fact-checking sites that help debunk the original article.
While the move represents a step in the right direction, it’s not the giant leap forward that some critics want the company to make in its war against fake news. Calling something “disputed” isn’t the same as calling something “fake.”
In order to label something as “disputed,” Facebook has some strict guidelinesthat it follows, according to recode:
- Either Facebook’s users have to report the story as bogus, or Facebook’s software has to catch something odd about it.
- Facebook will send the story to some of the organizations that have signed on to provide free fact-checking, like Snopes and Politifact.
- If two of those fact-checkers think it’s bogus, the label goes on.
That the story from The Seattle Tribute was disputed should come as no surprise, since its an admittedly fake newspaper. The real question now becomes if and how Facebook’s ”disputed” tag will curb the fake news stories that continue to threaten the credibility of one of our largest sources for political news.