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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Germany May Strike Facebook For Fake News.

The frenzied 2016 election cycle mercifully is over, but Face book’s fake news problem isn't going away.

 The company may face steep fines in Germany if it fails to address it satisfactorily. A bill slated for consideration next year would establish fines of up to $500,000 euros per day for each day that a fake news story persisted after notification of its falsehood was provided. 

The legislation, which has bipartisan support, would apply to other sites as well, but Facebook clearly is its main target. Treading Lightly Facebook recently began testing and rolling out updates to help it fight fake news.
The company "cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we're approaching this problem carefully," noted VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri.

Facebook is focusing its efforts on "the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our
community and third party organizations," he said. It is taking a four-pronged approach: Letting users report a hoax on Facebook by clicking the upper right-hand corner of a post; Flagging stories as disputed. Facebook is relying
on third-party fact checking organizations that are signatories of Poynter's International Fact Checking Code of Principles to make those determinations;

Informed sharing -- that is, giving articles that are shared less a lower ranking because that may indicate they are misleading; and Disrupting financial incentives for spammers. Facebook is eliminating the ability to spoof
domains, as well as analyzing publisher sites to see where it might need to enforce its policies.

The company initially is working with five fact- checking organizations: ABC News, the Associated Press,, PolitiFact and Snopes. It
might add to the pool in the future. It is very important to solve the fake news problem, said Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, because "it's critical to
the future of our democracy."

If our society continues to make decisions big and small based upon, or influenced by, faulty information, that will take it to a bad place, he told TechNewsWorld.

The issue is "probably best viewed on a spectrum," Coker suggested. On one end, there are the 100 percent  blatantly false untold stories, and on the other there are true stories mixed with fake news, making it more difficult to recognize which create a hoax for the people.

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