Facebook tries to combat fake news

The firm had been facing criticism for aiding in the spread of hoax stories

Facebook will begin testing its new fact checking functionality in the US, France, Holland and Germany.

The site faced criticism for allegedly aiding Donald Trump's victory in the United States presidential election, due to untrue stories about Trump and rival Hillary Clinton spreading across the site. This will help the site detect possible hoaxes and send them to fact checkers before the potentially untrue stories go viral.

"It might take a while to reach other locations, depending on how quickly Facebook can cut deals with local fact checkers worldwide", the report added.

Facebook said this section assists users to "determine whether the news they are reading is misleading or false".

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During the 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook was criticized for failing to rein in the spread of deliberately false information on the social network.

The updated feature will also show stories used as part of the fact-checking process Facebook uses on some articles.

Alerting readers to the new policy in a blog post Sara Su, Facebook news feed product manager, wrote: "In addition to seeing which stories are disputed by third-party fact checkers, people want more context to make informed decisions about what they read and share".

Now, officials are moving forward with the latter initiative and rolling it out more broadly. "That should provide people easier access to additional perspectives and information, including articles by third-party fact checkers", Facebook had stated at the time of the initial release. One viral hoax, for example, claimed that the Pope had endorsed Trump.

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