Nov 13, 2018 | Updated: 03:14 AM EDT

It Appears Facebook Has the Final Say-So On Hoax Posts—Censoring the Internet

Jan 24, 2015 03:17 PM EST

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In this age of over-exposure, it can be difficult to filter-out what's absolute nonsense and what are factually based claims. And, for a generation that's greatly receiving its current news from social media outlets, it's imperative that those mediums hunker-down on the sensationalized fluff. Facebook, as such a social media epicenter for such news, recently announced a new consumer campaign asking for users to flag both misguided and flat-out misinformed pieces that are circulating under relevant news monikers.

"We've heard from people that they want to see fewer stories that are hoaxes, or misleading news," a chief engineer at Facebook, Eric Owens says. "Today's update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook. We are not removing stories people report as false and we are not reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy."

Granted, satirical sites like The Onion won't be targeted in such fashions; their content is straight-forward about its nonsensical, humorous angles.

"We've found from testing that people tend not to report satirical content intended to be humorous, or content that is clearly labeled as satire. This type of content should not be affected by this update," Owens says. "The vast majority of publishers on Facebook will not be impacted by this update. A small set of publishers who are frequently posting hoaxes and scams will see their distribution decrease."

This mostly user-based approach to filtering-out much of the spam will, hopefully, prove to be beneficial in how factual material is both shared and trafficked on the medium. Tactics such as "like-baiting" have proven to be quite successful as well. The idea behind this witch-hunt of sorts is to get a clear picture on popular, viral material that seems, quite literally, too good to be true―and that's often the case.

Facebook aims to drastically cut-down on the "spammy" content that may or may not be flooding your news feeds in the upcoming months.

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