Facebook will ask researchers to measure the effects of misinformation in the News Feed
Part of a new public-relations campaign about the fight against fake news
Facebook is asking academics to help measure the volume and effects of misinformation on the platform, the company said today. The move, which comes a month after the company said it would ask researchers to help it understand the effect of Facebook on elections, illustrates how the company is working to restore trust after revelations that Russian agents spread misinformation and during the 2016 US presidential election.
The same commission established last month to analyze Facebook and elections will initiate a request for proposals to measure misinformation on the platform. The request will be issued through a website that will launch within the next two weeks, a spokesman said.
A peer review process will determine which researchers obtain funding for their projects. They will be granted special access user data from Facebook, though users’ privacy will be maintained, the company said.
John Hegeman, head of News Feed
The fight against misinformation is real. Over the past few years, we’ve been committed to reducing the spread of false news on Facebook. Today, we’re releasing “Facing Facts,” a short film that provides an inside look at our fight against misinformation.
To make the film, Facebook partnered with documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville. Over the course of several months, Neville and his team spent time with key members of the News Feed team at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, CA to reveal how we’re thinking about this complex problem and marshaling forces against it.
“We wanted to try something different with this project,” says John Hegeman, head of News Feed. “The challenges the News Feed team faces are complex, but it’s critical that people outside the company understand what we’re doing and why. So we need to keep trying new, different ways to give people that context.”
The film is one of the first pieces of content from Inside Feed, a new surface dedicated to shedding light on the people and processes behind Facebook’s products and algorithms.