Facebook’s “fake news” flags are a flop, the social network admitted on Thursday, saying it is halting its short-lived effort to mark disputed news stories.
The red flags backfired by drawing attention to the misinformation and sometimes even reinforcing deeply held bogus beliefs, Facebook said in a statement explaining the move.
In place of the flags, Facebook has filled its news feed with additional “Related Articles,” offering users the chance to click on more reliable stories.
The “Related Articles” tool has led to fewer shares of fake stories, the company found.
And if the Facebook’s fact-checkers do classify a news story as fake, it will be “deprioritized” in the news feed, making it harder for users to find.
Facebook still won’t remove false stories entirely.