We all come across Facebook posts which look and read like actual news reports. It is only when you scratch the surface that you find the hidden truth about them: they are fake news items put out by unscrupulous publishers. It is more likely that you have never heard about the news source and probably never will! But it takes a conscious Facebook user to cut through this maze of lies to uncover the truth. Such posts can be used for nefarious activities by various groups of people with mala fide intentions.
Over the years, Facebook has worked toward weeding out this kind of misinformation spread through this social media network. It has also been accused of not doing enough by activities across the globe. Lately, Facebook has launched another offensive to sidetrack and marginalize misinformation. With a new feature called Click-Gap Signal, it will cut down the visibility of news items which are fake and misleading.
How does the Click-Gap Signal feature work? It is an algorithmic mechanism which checks story published on Facebook against the popularity or authority it has on the open internet. If the number of clicks on the news item happens to be more on Facebook and not on channels outside it, it will be deemed as fake news. Such items will be pushed aside and its visibility diminished so that less people can see the item. More people viewing such items mean more of them getting duped.
This is what Facebook has to say about Click-Gap Signal:
This new signal, Click-Gap, relies on the web graph, a conceptual “map” of the internet in which domains with a lot of inbound and outbound links are at the center of the graph and domains with fewer inbound and outbound links are at the edges. Click-Gap looks for domains with a disproportionate number of outbound Facebook clicks compared to their place in the web graph. This can be a sign that the domain is succeeding on News Feed in a way that doesn’t reflect the authority they’ve built outside it and is producing low-quality content.
Facebook has also decided to ban groups and pages which peddle such misleading information. Action will be taken against group admins if user generated content promoting false news is found on their groups.