Singapore

Facebook working to combat fake news

Facebook is working on a better algorithm to detect and reduce the spread of false news, including an upcoming feature that indicates how long a publication or post has been around, said the social media network's head of News Feed Adam Mosseri.

Speaking to The Straits Times at an interview at Facebook's office here, Mr Mosseri - among those in the company spearheading its battle against fake news - outlined the broad scope of measures being taken to stem the spread of dubious content.

"We have been experimenting with the feature... It would be useful to know that a publication has been around for only four days," he said.

Facebook was widely criticised for allowing fake content to flourish on its network during the November election in the US.

The current push and Mr Mosseri's visit here comes as Singapore ramps up its own efforts to battle fake news even as broadband use and speeds here keep increasing.

While Facebook refrains from taking down posts in response to public or government pressure, exceptions are made when posts promote terrorism or hatred, or come from fake accounts.

One example is a fake Facebook community page "Salleh for President", which was taken down on Wednesday after presidential hopeful Salleh Marican complained to Facebook. Singapore website Mothership ran an article attributing the information from the page to Mr Salleh, but it later apologised for wrongfully disseminating the fake news.- THE STRAITS TIMES

facebookpresidentmedia