Repeat sharers of fake news, will not be allowed to advertise on Facebook

Facebook has introduced another new measure in a bid to fight the problem of fake news. The move affects Facebook Pages which repeatedly share stories which are marked as false.

"If pages repeatedly share stories marked as false, these repeat offenders will no longer be allowed to advertise on Facebook," the social media giant said. It added that over the past year it has taken several steps to reduce false news and hoaxes on Facebook.

"Currently, we do not allow advertisers to run ads that link to stories that have been marked false by third-party fact-checking organisations," it said.

Facebook added that the motive behind the updates aims to reduce the distribution of false news, keeping Facebook Pages which spread false news from making money. According to the post, Facebook found instances of pages using Facebook ads to build audiences in order to “distribute false news more broadly”.

“If pages stop sharing false news, they may be eligible to start running ads again,” the blog post said.

The move is part of a series of measures taken in the past year to combat the problem of fake news, following the impact of misinformation fed by fake news sites on the US presidential elections. This eventually led to both Facebook and competitor Google declaring to block advertising revenue to fake news sites. Meanwhile in February this year, both companies teamed up together with 17 French news organisations to weed out the problem of fake news. This was through Google’s “CrossCheck” initiative which is launched by its News Lab arm.

Other measures the social media giant had taken recently also included deprioritising the links that spammers share more frequently than regular users. Facebook said:

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.

A recent study by YouGov discovered that sharing fake news and misleading content can be detrimental to a brand’s image. Around 54% of APAC consumers surveyed would stop purchasing from a brand which promotes fake or misleading content.  More than half (51%) of respondents will choose a different brand in the future or tell friends and family about it. The study also found that 29% of respondents would share that the brand is promoting fake news on social media.