Everyone on Facebook has that one friend that posts outlandish stories that end up being a hoax, but usually they’re utterly convinced that it’s the real deal.
Today, Facebook has added the ability to flag a news story as a hoax. When you see something that is obviously not real like a made-up celebrity death or fake startup, you can choose to report posts as a “false news story.”
When many people flag a post as a false story, it’ll show less in the News Feed and eventually will show a warning that a number of others have reported it for false information.
The company says that most people share fake news before quickly deleting it once their friends point out that it’s not real. This mechanism helps prevent the spread of those kinds of stories on Facebook.
Facebook isn’t quite targeting satire sites like The Onion, however, saying “we’ve found from testing that people tend not to report satirical content intended to be humorous, or content that is clearly labeled as satire.”
Will this mean the end of arguing over inflammatory stories? I hope so.