Fake news should be tackled collectively: Facebook
Although Facebook is doing its job to tackle the fake news and polarised ads on its platform, the world needs a collective take on bad actors, be it state or non-state, to ensure the flow of high-quality information on social media, a top company executive said on Thursday.

Speaking at the HT Leadership Summit, Alex Hardiman, head of News Product at Facebook, said that there are several aggressive bad actors with sophisticated ways who are spreading misinformation and both traditional media outlets and social media platforms must come together to devise increasingly smart methods to deal with them.

"At Facebook, we are spending tremendous amount of time and energy to identify fake news. We are now sharing information with other big tech companies to find out the root cause. Facebook is going to increase head counts and investments to counter fake news in 2018," Hardiman told the gathering.

"All stakeholders, governments, third-party players, traditional media houses and social media giants, need to come under one umbrella to eliminate bad actors," emphasised Hardiman who has worked as vice president of News Product at The New York Times.

Facebook along with tech giants like Twitter and Google is facing intense scrutiny in the US after the company disclosed details about the presence of Russian political ads, tweets and posts on their platforms during the presidential election in 2016.

The Kremlin-linked Russian organisations purchased more than $100,000 of ads on social media platforms during the US election. Facebook told US Congress this month that 126 million of its users in the US might have seen ads produced and circulated by Russian operatives.

Not just the US, Facebook and Twitter have also agreed to share details with British authorities on Russia's interference in the Brexit referendum by using their platforms.

"Facebook is fully cooperating with the governments. I can't comment on the specifics but we are regulated, be it in the EU or the US. We will abide by the laws of the land. Back at the company, we are recalibrating efforts and will make sure that inclusive news goes out," she noted.

According to her, Facebook is identifying and blocking misinformation in myriad ways.


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