Facebook Takes More Proactive Steps to Alerts Users Who’ve Engaged with Misinformation

Another study released earlier this year found that when only some news posts are labeled as fact-checked and disputed, users then tend to believe that any other stories which are not marked are definitely correct – even if they’re completely false[8].[7]

As per the report[9]:

“In Study, we find that while warnings do lead to a modest reduction in perceived accuracy of false headlines relative to a control condition (particularly for politically concordant headlines), we also observed the hypothesized implied truth effect: the presence of warnings caused untagged headlines to be seen as more accurate than in the control. In Study, we find the same effects in the context of decisions about which headlines to consider sharing on social media.”

So the labels do reduce shares of fact-checked, identified as untrue reports, but they can also, unwittingly, increase the credibility of other false reports if they haven’t been checked. Now, Facebook will be looking provide more specific, targeted notifications on the same, which could, in theory, provide a similar false sense of security, in that users will then assume Facebook will notify them of all fake reports, and be less inclined to research for themselves.

It’s a difficult balance, but with vaccines now being rolled out around the world, Facebook is doing what it can to quell misinformation about the virus, and ensure optimal take-up of mitigation efforts.

Definitely, more targeted, specific prompts could be valuable, but wide-scale research will need to be conducted to show the full impact.   


  1. ^ taking a new approach (www.fastcompany.com)
  2. ^ Fast Company (www.fastcompany.com)
  3. ^ recent research (arxiv.org)
  4. ^ Platformer (www.platformer.news)
  5. ^ noted that (twitter.com)
  6. ^ research (www.socialmediatoday.com)
  7. ^ study (www.fastcompany.com)
  8. ^ even if they’re completely false (www.socialmediatoday.com)
  9. ^ report (www.researchgate.net)

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