Newsdeck

Facebook cracks down on bogus posts inciting violence

By AFP 19 July 2018
Caption
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives on stage during the VivaTech fair in Paris, France, 24 May 2018. The annual commercial convention runs from the 24 to 26 May. EPA-EFE/ETIENNE LAURENT

Facebook on Wednesday built on its campaign to prevent the platform from being used to spread dangerous misinformation, saying it will remove bogus posts likely to spark violence.

The new tactic being spread through the global social network was tested in Sri Lanka, which was recently rocked by inter-religious over false information posted on the world’s leading online social network.

“There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down,” a Facebook spokesman said after a briefing on the policy at the company’s campus in Silicon Valley.

“We will be begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”

For example, Facebook may remove inaccurate or misleading contect, such as doctored photos, created or shared to stir up to ignite volatile situations in the real world.

The social network said it is partnering with local organizations and authorities adept at identifying when posts are false and likely to prompt violence.

Misinformation removed in Sri Lanka under the new policy included content falsely contending that Muslims were poisoning food given or sold to Buddhists, according to Facebook.

Hate speech and threats deemed credible are violations of Facebook rules, and are removed.

The new policy takes another step back, eliminating content that may not be explicitly violent but which seems likely to encourage such behavior.

Facebook has been lambasted for allowing rumors or blatantly false information to circulate that may have contributed to violence.

Many see Facebook as being used as a vehicle for spreading false information in recent years.

Facebook has implemented a series of changes aimed at fighting use of the social network to spread misinformation, from fabrications that incite violence to untruths that sway elections. DM

Gallery

While we have your attention...

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.

Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.

Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.


DAYS OF ZONDO

Banks tell inquiry of their resistance to Zwane’s bullying tactics

By Jessica Bezuidenhout

Iceland is the only country without mosquitoes.