Technology, Top News

Facebook is quietly rating the ‘trustworthiness’ of its users

IF YOU WANT A DEFINITION OF IRONIC look no further than Facebook assigning users a ‘trustworthiness’ score after some people lost trust in the social network

According to The Washington Post, Facebook is giving users a 0 to 1 score for how trustworthy their flagging of posts as ‘fake news’ are.

Each time a Facebook user reports a post as fake news, it will be reviewed by fact checkers to assess if indeed the content contains false claims. If they find it contains correct facts then they will penalise the person who made the report for essentially crying wolf.

The flip side is that if a post is found to contain fake facts, then Facebook will score in favour of the person who reported it.

The idea behind the move, which seems to be happening in the US first, is to make people think twice about flagging stuff they think is fake news mostly because they disagree with the content or sentiments of the post.

“[It’s] not uncommon for people to tell us something is false simply because they disagree with the premise of a story or they’re intentionally trying to target a particular publisher,” Tessa Lyons, the person in charge of fighting misinformation on Facebook told The Washington Post.

The scores won’t be made public on Facebook or even be shown to the people they’ve been applied to. This will prevent people from claiming to be more trustworthy than others, but at the same time it provides no insight into how trusted Facebook considers one to be.

Keeping the scores under wraps looks to also keep savvy folks away from gaming the system, which could result in dodgy users being branded as beacons of trust.

The idea of Facebook assigning trustworthiness scores to people mere months after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, which was pretty much a breach of trust between Facebook and how it handles user data, could cause some readers to do a spit-take all over this article. It doesn’t help matters either when Facebook further erodes trust in it when it slips up; case in point the accidental public publishing of the private posts of some 14 million users.

At least Facebook looks to be taking more action to tackle fake news on its social network, which is probably more than we could say for Twitter. µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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