Facebook Scraps ‘Disputed’ Fake News Tag, Claims ‘Opposite Effect to What We Intended’

Social media giant Facebook will no longer be marking news stories as “disputed” because the company says people are more likely to believe possibly inaccurate news stories carrying the tag.

Business Insider UK reports that Facebook will no longer be marking news stories with a “disputed” tag, a measure introduced this year in an attempt to crack down on “fake news” on their platform. The tag was meant to make Facebook users question the source of the information they were reading, however, most users seemed to double down on believing the information in “disputed” articles due to the tag assigned by Facebook.

Facebook published two posts on their blog recently, both mentioning that the tag would soon be dropped. One of the posts reads:

Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs — the opposite effect to what we intended. Related Articles, by contrast, are simply designed to give more context, which our research has shown is a more effective way to help people get to the facts. Indeed, we’ve found that when we show Related Articles next to a false news story, it leads to fewer shares than when the Disputed Flag is shown.

In another post published on the blogging platform Medium by three Facebook staffers working to prevent the spread of what they consider to be fake news on the platform, the staffers explained that giving more context to stories led to a sharp drop in the spread of allegedly fake news and that adding related articles to a disputed story was more effective than just branding it with a tag:

During these tests, we learned that ...REST OF IT

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