Facebook is more than just a social network. For many, it’s their primary source of news content, making their news feed much more than updates from family and friends. Sometimes, you come across content that appears real, but it’s quickly recognized as a ‘hoax’ story. In their ongoing attempt to end the clickbait, Facebook is now allowing us to report hoax posts. Facebook’s algorithm also takes into account how many delete the post, which will drive the ‘hoax’ down in the distribution rankings.
The news feed changes Facebook is making may also make you look smarter. According to Facebook, people often delete hoax posts they misunderstand as factual or accurate based on feedback. When friends leave a “hoax!” comment or something similar, people delete posts more often. By catching the hoax post before you might lay eyes on it, the rankings dip may save you from seeing and re-sharing it.
The success rate potential here is high, too. According to Facebook, “stories that include scams, or deliberately misleading news, are reported two and a half times more often than links to other news stories.” Clearly, we’re not into hoaxes and other nonsense.
The algorithm responsible for catching these types of articles will account for flagged or reported posts as well as how many deletions there are. In addition to lowering its ranking in news feed, Facebook will also annotate the article to let people seeing it that an unusually large number of people have reported it as misleading or fake.