Bad actors have been rife across Facebook for the past few years by spamming, posting fake news and creating hoaxes which has put a lot of pressure on the social network. Facebook recently announced several new measures they will be implementing, one of which includes an AI which is learning to spot hoax articles reposted across various accounts.
Although Facebook seem to be talking up the new AI, we know that AI is limited in what it can and can’t differentiate. For instance, AI cannot automatically fact-check stories or make decisions about misleading headlines, but it can recognise warning signs that suggest an account is up to no good. These warning signs can be anything from far too frequent link posting to accounts posting articles which have already been deemed fake news by a human fact-checker.
Per Facebooks blog post:
“Machine learning helps us identify duplicates of debunked stories. For example, a fact-checker in France debunked the claim that you can save a person having a stroke by using a needle to prick their finger and draw blood. This allowed us to identify over 20 domains and over 1,400 links spreading that same claim.”
In an interview with BuzzFeed, product manager Tessa Lyons explained more about the AI machine learning they are now implementing. She states that the filters are now trying to predict which pages or accounts are more ‘likely’ to share bad content. This includes page admins that may live in one country but are targeting an audience from another country.
However, Lyons did admit that with the introduction of this new software, there could possibly be some teething issues. These issues being that some legitimate accounts/pages could get hit by accident. Facebook states it acts against pages and sites that spread fake news and hoaxes by reducing their distribution and removing their ability to monetise.
Facebook now has third party fact checkers in 14 nations, with plans to increase this scale even further by the end of this year. Ultimately, it’s schemes like these — which involve human fact-checkers — that are most effective in identifying fake news. But AI can still provide a useful backup.
Look out for further news in our blog.