Global social media company, Meta organized a virtual session for Pakistani journalists to apprise them regarding its efforts to curb misinformation on its platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger.
Alice Budisatrijo, Head of Content Policy at Meta led the session. She said Meta shares the society’s concern with misinformation which is why it has taken aggressive steps to combat the issue by creating an unparalleled global network of fact-checking partners and promoting accurate information to removing content when it violates the company’s community standards.
She further added that Meta has a three-part strategy for addressing misinformation on Facebook and Instagram that entails removing content, reducing its distribution, and informing users. Regarding Meta’s independent fact-checkers, she said any single entity, including Meta, cannot be the arbiter of truth because it may lead to power imbalance and the potential for overreach.
As per the Meta representative, the company partners with over 80 independent third-party fact-checkers globally, working in over 60 languages. The fact-checkers are certified through the independent, non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network.
To begin with, Meta removes the most harmful types of false information right away, including content that violates its Community Standards and can lead to real-world violence or imminent harm. Meta platforms actively tackled COVID-19-related misinformation during the pandemic, thereby playing an impactful role in the prevention of diseases globally.
The participants were further told that Meta also significantly reduces the distribution of Facebook and Instagram posts when flagged as false by the fact-checkers. Likewise, pages and domains that repeatedly share false news also get their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed. The company also filters out other spam and sensational content like clickbait and engagement bait, coinciding with misinformation.
Meta platform users are actively informed about misinformation by giving them more context so they can decide for themselves what to read, trust and share. In 2018, it launched a context button that provides information about the sources of articles people see in News Feed. Last year, it added a new notification to let people know when a news article they’re about to share is more than 90 days old.
The Meta representative further added that apart from tackling misinformation, Meta has constantly strived to facilitate people’s access to reliable and verified information. Meta launched its COVID-19 Information Center in March 2020 at the top of News Feed to provide users with real-time updates from health authorities, as well as helpful articles, videos, and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
In addition, the social media giant has been constantly working with local partners and academics to promote digital literacy in order to help people safely navigate social and online media platforms.