Facebook Launches Effort To Cut Down On Those Annoying Hoax Stories Your Friends Can’t Stop Believing

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No, Betty White is not dead (and neither is Eddie Murphy, Celine Dion, Jon Bon Jovi, etc). No, a bunch of worms didn’t burst out of a woman’s chest. But because your friends on Facebook are easily fooled and don’t know about the existence of Snopes.com, it’s up to you to run through that gauntlet of idiocy on your news feed. Since those gullible folks will never learn, Facebook says now it’s going to help crack down on bogus, hoax and otherwise fake Internet stories clogging up what you read on the social media site.

Facebook announced the effort today, saying News Feed will adjust what it shows when people report a post that has false content, as well as take into account when people delete posts. The update to News Feed will see those posts getting reduced distribution, and applies to posts including links, photos, videos and status updates.

If a post with a lot of reports shows up in your News Feed, it’ll now come with a warning that others have reported it as a hoax, instead of you having to once again copy and paste a link to Snopes.com in proving that whatever nonsense you’ve been taken in by is just that, annoying nonsense.


“The goal of News Feed is to catch up with your friends and find the things that matter to you. We’re always looking to people on Facebook to tell us how we can improve this experience. We’ve heard from people that they want to see fewer stories that are hoaxes, or misleading news. Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook. We are not removing stories people report as false and we are not reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy.”

Posts that fall under the hoax umbrella include scams, like clicking on a link to win free flights for a year or stories that are deliberately misleading, Facebook says, like “Man sees dinosaur on hike in Utah.”

If you see a story that’s false, you can now notify Facebook to help clean it up.


“Stories that include scams, or deliberately misleading news, are reported two and a half times more often than links to other news stories,” Facebook says.

Now if someone could create a filter for smug sports fans who decide it’s a good idea to prey on you at the very lowest point of the season when it already feels like everything you loved has been lost, that would be great.

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