How Facebook Helps Newsrooms Dispel Fake News

Gegham Vardanyan

Physicist by education, journalist by occupation

The problem of preventing the spread of fake news through social media channels is one of the new challenges of contemporary journalism. Social media giant Facebook, collaborating with reputable organizations, has created a tool to solve this problem.

Users can inform Facebook when a story is, in their opinion, fake news. To verify the information on stories identified as fake news, Facebook cooperates with five third-party fact-checking organizations.


Politifact, Factcheck, Snopes, AP, and ABC News have access to the database where stories user have identified as fake news are collected.

Any of these five organizations can fact-check the story. When two out of the five organizations confirm that the news is fake, Facebook warns users about this.

The mechanism works only for one URL. If the same disputed news story is shared from several website addresses, Facebook’s warning will appear only for the verified URL. The other so-called satellite links will still be available on Facebook.

The mechanism, however, works. Between December 1, 2016, and July 5, 2017, alone, Politifact wrote 139 stories about fake news, of which 122 it deemed deliberately false.

To help readers, Politifact created a regularly updated collection of sites that spread fake news.

Gegham Vardanyan

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