Today’s update helps to disrupt the economic incentives and curb the spread of false news, which is another step towards building a more informed community on Facebook.
Facebook today announced its latest tool in the fight against fake news: ad revenue, or the lack thereof.
As two Facebook product managers explain in today’s update, Pages which repeatedly share news marked as false by its third-party fact-checkers will not be allowed to advertise on Facebook.
The pair hope that this will help stem the tide of false stories, as it will cut off any potential cash reward a Page receives by advertising such stories:
When Facebook originally outlined its plan to stem the tide of fake news last year, it mentioned cutting off the cash flow to fake news spammers, but did not say how it would do so. Adam Mosseri, VP of News Feed, said it was easy to spot the true motives of the people who ran such Pages:
We’ve found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated. Spammers make money by masquerading as well-known news organizations, and posting hoaxes that get people to visit to their sites, which are often mostly ads.
The Facebook product managers also said disgraced Pages might be allowed to advertise again if they stop sharing fake news, but didn’t specify how long the Page would have to be on good behavior before that would happen.