November 21, 2016 11:32 am
Updated: November 22, 2016 2:02 pm

How Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to combat fake news

WATCH: Facebook taking action on fake news filling users feeds. Mike Drolet reports.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed the social network is taking new steps to combat fake news on the platform, just days after President Barack Obama warned Facebook’s alleged fake news problem poses a threat to democracy.

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READ MORE: Obama criticizes spread of fake news on Facebook: ‘We won’t know what to fight for’

Zuckerberg took to his personal Facebook page Saturday to announce the company will develop stronger detection tools to identify fake and misleading news articles, making it easier for users to report fake news and exploring the option of labeling stories that have been flagged as false, or showing warnings when users read or share the content.

The Facebook co-founder added that he plans to work with notable fact-checking organizations to help better identify misleading content.

“Some of these ideas will work well, and some will not. But I want you to know that we have always taken this seriously, we understand how important the issue is for our community and we are committed to getting this right,” Zuckerberg wrote.

READ MORE: Facebook, Google to combat fake news after US election

The update marks the first time Zuckerberg has commented on the fake news issue since he said it was “extremely unlikely” fake news or hoaxes affected the outcome of the U.S. presidential election last week.

WATCH:  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is laying-out a plan to fight inaccurate news stories from making it to your Facebook feed

READ MORE: Mark Zuckerberg explains why he thinks fake news on Facebook did not influence the US election

Since the election there has been growing outrage over Facebook’s so-called fake news problem, prompting President Obama to comment on the matter during a press conference in Germany.

“If we are not serious about facts, and what’s true and what’s not, and particularly in an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in sound bites and snippets off their phones, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” Obama said Thursday.

In the days following the U.S. election, several media outlets published opinion pieces accusing Facebook of influencing voters by allowing fake news websites and blogs masquerading as legitimate sources to be featured next to articles from legitimate news sources. Several pundits and media companies were concerned the information may have swayed voters towards President-elect Donald Trump.

READ MORE: Why some are blaming Facebook for Donald Trump’s presidential win

A Buzzfeed article published last week quoted several Facebook employees who claimed fake news “ran wild” on the social network in the months leading up to the election.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been vocal in opposing the reports, claiming less than one per cent of the content shared to Facebook is considered “fake.”

While Zuckerberg’s latest update may show Facebook is taking steps to combat criticism, the CEO maintained “the percentage of misinformation is relatively small.”

Facebook has also updated its advertising policies to spell out that its ban on deceptive and misleading content applies to fake news.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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