Facebook has come up with a really stern measure this time. This is specially meant for the pages that frequently share fabricated news stories. Facebook has stated that these pages won’t be able to buy ads.
Facebook has already been working with outside fast-checkers like Snopes and the AP to filter stories that are misguiding and faulty. Further, Facebook has also added that if a story is marked as disputed, the link would be longer promoted through the Facebook ads.
Now the next and the more austere step involves putting an obstacle to the pages that share fake stories, from purchasing any Facebook ads, regardless of whether or not the ad includes a disputed link.
Why such a measure?
This step is mainly taken owing to the criticisms the company faced last year for its role in helping to spread the false stories. As per Facebook’s Product Director Rob Leathern, since then, the company has been trying hard to fight back in three possible ways. They are:
- Ending the economic incentive to post false news stories.
- Reduce the spread of those stories.
- Helping people make more informed decisions when they see a false story.
In this case, as Leathern stated, impeding the buying of ads mainly refers to changing the economic incentives. Facebook is concerned with the fact that “there are Pages posting this information that are using Facebook Ads to build audiences” to spread false news. Now, by changing these policies, it becomes more difficult for the companies to attract the audience.
Facebook is not conforming the exact numbers of disputed links a Page can share before it gets blocked. This measure is obviously taken for obvious reasons as after all, the company doesn’t want people to try to follow this system. But Leathern has also mentioned that “Obviously, it’s not a single instance. It’s a repeated pattern of misinformation.”
Lastly, he regarded that this ban on buying ads isn’t necessarily permanent. If a Page stops sharing false stories, it would be allowed again, eventually, to buy ads.