Facebook announced that it's taking an additional step to reduce false news and hoaxes on its platform, by disallowing companies to advertize if they repeatedly share stories marked as false. This ads to Facebook's current policy of disallowing advertisers to run ads that link to stories that have been marked as false by third-party fact-checking organizations.
The update, according to a blog post by the social media giant, will help to reduce the distribution of false news which will keep pages that spread false news from making money. Facebook said it found instances where sites were using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more broadly.
Now, if a site repeatedly shares stories marked as false, they won't be able to buy ads on Facebook. However, if those pages stop sharing false news, Facebook said they "may be eligible to start running ads again."
Facebook said: "False news is harmful to our community. It makes the world less informed and erodes trust." The Californian company said it's working to fight the spread of false news in three key areas: disrupting the economic incentives to create false news; building new products to curb the spread of false news; and helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.
The company announced a new tool in December 2016 which would enable users to report false news stories that appear on the social media site. Facebook has been criticized in the past for its failure to prevent the volume of fake stories going viral on its platform.
"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," the company said of its latest initiative.