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Facebook Begins 'Fact-Checking' Photos, Videos (reuters.com) 123

Facebook said today that it had begun "fact-checking" photos and videos to reduce the hoaxes and false news stories that have plagued the world's largest social media network. Reuters reports: The fact-checking began on Wednesday in France with assistance from the news organization AFP and will soon expand to more countries and partners, Tessa Lyons, a product manager at Facebook, said in a briefing with reporters. Lyons did not say what criteria Facebook or AFP would use to evaluate photos and videos, or how much a photo could be edited or doctored before it is ruled fake. The project is part of "efforts to fight false news around elections," she said. Facebook has tried other ways to stem the spread of fake news. It has used third-party fact-checkers to identify them, and then given such stories less prominence in the Facebook News Feed when people share links to them.
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Facebook Begins 'Fact-Checking' Photos, Videos

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  • Fact checking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2018 @09:33PM (#56350739)

    So, that means Conservative news will be eliminated & Liberal lies will be emphasized. Got it!

    • Re:Fact checking (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @10:14PM (#56350887) Journal
      Post a funny cartoon about results of mass illegal immigration into the EU and France will have the cartoon banned.
      The EU artist will be found and interviewed by police about the cartoon.
      A checksum of the funny cartoon will ensure it is removed when anyone attempts to upload it again.
      Attempts to upload the image again will result in more police interviews.
      Image matching software will move any altered version of the same art.
      Attempts to create another version of the same cartoon will result in more police interviews.
      No making fun of the results of EU politics in France.

      French politics is now safe from all types of online cartoons questioning EU and French politics.
    • So, that means some Conservative lies will be eliminated & some Liberal lies will be eliminated. Got it!

      FTFY.

      But if it makes you feel better, there was NO COLLUSION!

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by gnick ( 1211984 )

        I like that better. There are conservative and liberal opinions, and even conservative/liberal news stories, but facts is facts. I'd like to see evidence of Facebook playing favorites with the facts before I'm going to start hurling accusations. If somebody has that kind of evidence, I'm all ears; I genuinely haven't seen any questionable fact corrections from FB.

        • Re:Fact checking (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Friday March 30, 2018 @12:56AM (#56351423)

          I'm blown away that Slashdotters are fine giving Facebook, a multi-billion dollar corporation, the benefit-of-the-doubt regarding their ability to regulate and censor "effectively and fairly."

          But literally the SAME FRONT PAGE they're out for blood over Facebook (THE SAME COMPANY) over their data collection and selling practices.

          If we can't trust them to not sell our data to ENEMY COUNTRIES, then how can we trust them to regulate and censor "non-facts"?

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            Are you implying that you have evidence of them making questionable decisions fact-checking? I'm legitimately interested in seeing it. I'm a user and don't want to give them any more trust than they deserve. I know how far I can trust them with my data; I'd like to know if I'm being lied to. I do see a slanted selection of news, but that's because of the news sources I selected.

          • by geek ( 5680 )

            Trained monkeys.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Nope, that means that Facebook in it's marketing foolishness will now be subject to a whole slew of slander suits and not the easy ones of the US, the really mean ones in other countries where you must prove your claim in a court of law or be subject to damages, including in some countries psychological damages.

      Instead of the more sensible response, "news, what news, we are not a news network, we are a social media fun and entertainment network, we don't do news, our users do news" ie hands off news. Got a

    • So, that means Conservative news will be eliminated

      Nope - Conservative news with a strong basis in fact will remain prominent, Anonymous Coward.

      Let me know when you find some, by the way.

      • So, that means Conservative news will be eliminated

        Nope - Conservative news with a strong basis in fact will remain prominent, Anonymous Coward.

        Let me know when you find some, by the way.

        Yes so you can wipe it, like with a cloth.

        Who decides what are officially "facts" and what are not?

        One man's facts are another man's fake news.

        Strat

        • Who decides what are officially "facts" and what are not?

          Consensus. Experts. Multiple reliable sources for information.

          e.g.

          http://www.politifact.com/trut... [politifact.com]

          • Consensus. Experts. Multiple reliable sources for information.

            Whose "consensus"? Who chooses which person's opinions are included as "consensus"?

            Which "experts"? Chosen by whom?

            Who decides which source is "reliable"?

            Who defines what is "reliable"?

            Too many easy paths to authoritarianism here.

            Strat

            • Well the alternative is to have no set of facts and then you get "alternative facts." And what happen then? You do stupid things, that's what. Just because I don't believe in gravity doesn't mean it doesn't exist. This line of logic on the right makes no sense. There are some facts that hare hard to discern. But in the vast majority of cases, we know the answers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Have a list!

        https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/

      • Apparently the /. crowd seems to think that facts and conservative are incompatible entities. Every post that makes the same point as yours (including my own) got modded down. Modern life is hard because facts tend to emerge quite aggressively and you have to work hard to suppress them. Republicans and businesses used to be aligned. But I don't see how this can continue. Business leaders thrive on accurate information. Otherwise their companies go out of business. Unfortunately countries don't go out
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Just got to say how weird it is watching US politics from over the pond.

      On the one hand, you have a party clearly pandering to their base, playing lip-service to populist issues but willing and eager to sell the country out to their financial backers for a few short years in power. Maybe they think that the harm they know they are doing to people is worth it to further their poorly thought out ideology, but that's no excuse.

      On the other hand, you have exactly the same thing.

      One side wants to ban guns, one s

    • Re:Fact checking (Score:4, Interesting)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday March 30, 2018 @01:07AM (#56351449) Homepage Journal

      So, that means Conservative news will be eliminated & Liberal lies will be emphasized. Got it!

      This is an excellent example of why it's not going to work. Not in the present political climate of the US, anyway.

      Suppose for the sake of argument, that Facebook's fact checking were like nothing ever seen in history. Relentless pursuit of absolute, unbiased truth. We'd still see comments like the above... and worse, we'd see people who begin watching for the Facebook "not a fact" ruling in order to proudly believe and promote those articles more.

      The problem is that for too many people, the tribal conflict has overtaken truth in importance, because absurd beliefs are actually more useful as an in-group signalling mechanism than reasonable beliefs. If I tell you I believe that water is wet, you're left uncertain... you can't know whether I'm for the red tribe or the blue tribe. But if I tell you that I believe something that no one could seriously believe (but is a touchstone of one of the camps), then you know if I'm with you or against you.

      In the case of Facebook, those on the right (and especially the alt-right) will conclude that FB is a pack of socialist liberal commies and so anything they mark as false must be true. The AC above is clearly in this camp.

      Sigh.

      • "FB is a pack of socialist liberal commies and so anything they mark as false must be true."

        No - FB is a pack of capitalist stooges and running dogs. But yes, when FB declares a story to be fake, that's a strong indicator the story may be true.

        • "FB is a pack of socialist liberal commies and so anything they mark as false must be true."

          No - FB is a pack of capitalist stooges and running dogs. But yes, when FB declares a story to be fake, that's a strong indicator the story may be true.

          Thank you for proving my point.

      • by Malizar ( 553281 )

        Suppose for the sake of argument, that Facebook's fact checking were like nothing ever seen in history. Relentless pursuit of absolute, unbiased truth. We'd still see comments like the above... and worse, we'd see people who begin watching for the Facebook "not a fact" ruling in order to proudly believe and promote those articles more.

        Facebook would then label anything posted by ANY media source as false then. CNN, Fox, ABC, NY Times, etc. They all put their own spin on news to get attention.

        • Nonsense. Oh, sure they might have to call out bits and pieces, perhaps one or two in every article even. But the media does a better job than you're giving it credit for.
    • There is nothing wrong with conservative news but I take exception to the idea that hate propaganda aimed at minorities is conservative news. It is not. It is psychological warfare that has been co-opted by some right wing politicians because it is easy to weaponize. History is littered with successful political movements that achieved power by stirring up hatred of minorities. This is usually followed by mass discrimination and killing. It is a weakness of the human character that we are easily persuaded t

      • The conservative right should take some responsibility for the need to suppress this propaganda and maybe we would not be banning things.

        I don't think the remaining sane conservatives can do anything about the Trumpkins and centipedes who now dominate the right and enthusiastically spread this propaganda. They clearly want to, you've probably seen John McCain's angry speeches and essays, but they just don't have the numbers or the power.

        • Well it depends on what you mean by not doing anything. There are *many* things that they can do and should have done up through and including campaigning for Democrats or at least third-party candidates. What they can't do is "do anything" without making principled choices at personal cost.
      • hate propaganda aimed at minorities is conservative news

        I suspect that reporting the facts of capital crimes committed by multiple-time deported criminal aliens would fall under this category. As would crime statistics pertaining to particular demographics and geographical areas that are impacted.

        Factual reality is indifferent to your adherence to political correctness dogma. Failing to accurately report on issues directly related to matters of race or religion means that liberal news cannot be relied on to properly inform the public either.

        That the U.S. pr

    • by Jahta ( 1141213 )

      So, that means Conservative news will be eliminated & Liberal lies will be emphasized. Got it!

      Care to cite some actual verifiable evidence to support this? Or are you just making groundless assertions (which is what "fake news" is all about)?

    • If it means that Republican neo-conservative disinformation gets removed, this will be a good thing. I get downmodded for saying this (that's okay, I have karma to spare), but we don't have very many credible conservative voices in this country. The current strategy on the right is to sacrifice long-term credibility to win short-term elections. (Yes it happens on the left too, but not to the same extent.) Combined with willingness to demonize various demographic groups, calling Republicans conservatives
    • This is meme control, and controlling the pathways in which they can become viral.

      It must be very annoying for the powers that be when the politics they've scripted goes off the rails. Mass media is failing to do its job, so there is a demonstrated need to pull levers within social media as well.

    • How's the weather in Moscow Boris? Looks like your comrades have approved your post as well. Double ration of vodka for you tonight along with your rubles.
    • Faux Noise = Conservative "news"
      Not much fact there!
  • Here's an idea... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zieroh ( 307208 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @09:34PM (#56350743)

    Here's an idea: shut down fucking FaceBook. That should put a big dent in the spread of fake news.

  • Internet companies actually reviewing some of the drivel they shovel out? I find that hard to believe.
  • There was something I saw years ago, where people were able to identify photoshopped images by looking at shadows -- if you put an object into a picture, the lighting on it might not match.

    If you could automate it, that might be one test to see how 'authentic' it is ... but you'd have to have it not trigger on things like text or logos added in.

  • I hate photoshopped memes now... we need to put an end to this. This stopped being funny after we shopped all those memes to make fun of Obama's opponents.

  • Facebook said today that it had begun "fact-checking" photos and videos

    Oh boy, this ought to be good. The extremists on both sides will howl in the ultrasonic range about Free Speach!" and "You're doing too much/not enough!"

    I'm going to buy popcorn futures.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Nobody expects The French investigating judge.

      Does the political art contain a style of cartoon related to tailless amphibians?
      Does the ISP log show the artist looked at subversive Russian related news sites?
      Was the artist under the influence of Russians?
      Does the art show France in a traditionalist style?
      Is the art supporting Gaullism? Would viewing the art result in questions about the role of France in the EU and NATO?
      Has the art mentioned the politics of France and Quebec independence?

      Ban the
  • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @09:57PM (#56350835)
    So if I post vacation photos of my trip to Hawaii, Facebook will contact the various airlines to confirm that I indeed flew there at that time and they'll call the hotel to verify that I was indeed staying there, etc. Sounds like a lot of work.
  • I have an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archon ( 13753 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @10:06PM (#56350869)

    I know I know, it may sound really out there: don't form your voting decisions based on what you see on Facebook? It's an ad platform, not journalism.

    • Re:I have an idea (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jmyers ( 208878 ) on Friday March 30, 2018 @09:14AM (#56352619)

      I am pretty sure not a single person voted based on something they saw on Facebook on any other social media. It is just a dead horse being beaten over and over by people that still cant believe they were wrong about the election. They have to somehow "fix" the problem. But in reality they still don't get it or cant bring themselves to accept it which means they cant fix it and Trump will win reelection.

      People have to accept the result and understand it to overcome and defeat it. It is sad to watch the meltdown and attempt to blame everything but the problem itself. The D's lost for at least 3 reasons. 1. the candidate was really so bad anyone could defeat 2. Trump routed around traditional media so they could not control his message 3. A conservative candidate always wins US presidential elections.

      Go back and look at debates even with Obama and Romney. Obama was against gay marriage, talked like a war hawk about Iraq, on and on. He was seen as conservative by the general public. Romney was portrayed by the press as weak. Liberals that supported Obama ignored all of those comments as just lip service and knew about his many other positions. The general public watching CBS news would never see Obama as anything other than an acceptable conservative. Once elected he had more freedom to be himself for the second election.

      As of now I predict a second Trump term. Mainly because his opponents are all still focusing on games they cannot win, controlling social media, impeaching the pres, etc. If you have any critical thinking brain cells left you should be able to see those things are not going to happen. The internet will route around censorship. Actually arresting or trying to take down the president will not happen. I would bet any amount of money on that fact. People that still think that might happen are dumber than dumb, I don't care what evidence they think exists, it is irrelevant.

      The only way for the Ds to win the next presidential election is a very conservative appearing person that is a fantastic public speaker that does not trash Trump but appears smarter and more pragmatic. I am willing to bet they will go the opposite direction and pick a liberal professor type that complains about everything trump. They will lose bad once again.

      Midterms are not an indicator of anything. The opposing party almost always comes into power during midterms because they are reeling from the loss and more motivated to go vote.

      • I am pretty sure not a single person voted based on something they saw on Facebook on any other social media.

        Really? Out of 120 million-plus voters in 2016, you think that not a single one made their decision based on social media posts?

        I mean, I agree that blaming election results on social media propaganda is mostly just an attempt to deflect attention from the real reasons that the Democrats managed to lose the election, but I'm also pretty sure that some people really do vote based on what they read on Facebook. Some people vote based on what the space aliens tell them to do, after all.

      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        I am pretty sure not a single person voted based on something they saw on Facebook on any other social media.

        That is the funniest thing I have read in weeks. You think organizations pay billions of dollars in major elections because advertising doesn't work? I personally would be surprised if less than half of people made their decision based on something more meaningful than social media advertising.

    • I agree with you, but would suggest that most people vote based on the advertising they see. That's why you see political posters around town.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      That's not how influence works. Constant exposure to these lies warps people's perceptions of the world.

    • I know I know, it may sound really out there: don't form your voting decisions based on what you see on Facebook? It's an ad platform, not journalism.

      I know, right?

      And we'll have more on that, Mary, right after these messages! Stay tuned to WXYZ for real news!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That is all.

  • We've always been at war with Eurasia. Tim S.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Facebook has been gobsmacked by negative news stories and threats of regulatory action.

    This move is a PR stunt designed mostly to fool the public and especially various legislators and regulators that "Facebook has really changed" and "this is a whole new ballgame". Whether those are true or not (and they're not), this is a way to stanch the blood loss in the media, their hardhit stock price, and wage their own campaign against any sort of regulation or new laws that may surface. And they can count on thei

  • Fact check this Mark -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] :)

  • by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Friday March 30, 2018 @01:07AM (#56351451)

    I'm pretty sure they mean, fact-checking the text content of images, rather than detecting doctored photos. Images with text conveying some controversial message are ubiquitous on Facebook. Same with uploaded videos containing rants/conspiracy theories.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When do the televangelists take their perp walk?

  • Whatever they say Facebook is in deep shit now. The only way they can gain their trust back is if they reveal to the public what info exactly they've been pulling out. And they need to provide better privacy option for users.
  • What will you do, Facebook?

  • What our non-friends at Fecesbook are really saying here, is that they will editorialize even harder, putting banners on top of anything that doesn't agree with their own political preferences. Because we all know that "fake news" is really just a term for "anything I don't agree with."
  • All of us we-knew-better ranters and tinfoil-hat-wearing evangelists just got the smoking gun that was needed. There it is for everyone to see and read.

    We give all these Big Machine's a free pass every damn time we think they mistakenly screwed up and didn't know any better like a 3 year old child left momentarily unattended in a shallow bathtub with 10 shampoo bottles, bubble bath suds and a squirt gun. "Oh they made a huge mistake." In what? Cleverly and with a flawed, broken moral compass exploited.

    O

  • No more funny pictures of my dog with Clinton's head on it ?
    Seriously , the only time you can 'fact check' a picture is if it is accompanied by the claim that it is real.
    I guess it's ok if all you do it put up a icon somewhere non intrusive that says ( picture likely edited). However, that would also show up on senior pictures with the zits air brushed from them.

  • Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advertisement is coming to pass. Pull it up, Chick in red shorts! https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] .

    The truth is only what the Democrats want it to be. Even if they have to revise it like they did on immigration. Just check out Bill Clinton's or more recently Obummer's and Shuemer's videos as recently as 2012 to today. It's just amazing people believe them.

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