Facebook’s ‘trustworthiness’ scores weed out fake news, false user reports

Facebook probably has a scorecard for you — in a recent interview with the Washington Post, Facebook product manager Tessa Lyons shared that the network has a system for determining which users are more trustworthy. The “score” is used to push potential fake news to the top of the list for fact-checking organizations.

Lyons explains that the score works to classify users that have reported posts on Facebook using the reporting tool. Some users, she says, report posts not because they are false but because they don’t agree with the content. Users that regularly flag posts that actually contain fake news will have a high score. Users that flag posts that waste fact-checker time have a lower score.

By factoring in the “trustworthiness” of the user, those user-reported fakes are arranged in a way that helps make the best use of fact-checker time, the company says. The score is used along with other factors that help the fact-checking team determine which posts to look at first.

Facebook isn’t going to tell you what your score is, however, or even tell you how that score is generated. The network is keeping the scoring system confidential under the belief that bad actors could use that information to artificially boost their trustworthiness score. Facebook also didn’t say if every user has a score or not and also didn’t divulge if there are other ways the network uses those scores.

The score was developed sometime over the past year, Lyons said.

The interview offers a glimpse into what’s going on behind the scenes as Facebook works to clean up the platform, or more accurately, to attempt to prevent false information from going viral. The company has launched a host of new initiatives to try to curb the spread of fake news, with varying degrees of success. The network also ranks the trustworthiness of publications using user opinion instead of attempting the task themselves.

The network now uses related articles to attempt to shed more light on the subject, along with including more information about publishers. One feature uses Wikipedia to crowd-source related information. The company has also launched partnerships with organizations such as the Atlantic Council to improve the platform’s approach to fake news.

Social Media

Facebook expands fact-checking net to try to catch doctored photos and videos

Facebook is now fact-checking images and video along with articles, using third-party organizations. New A.I. helps flag potential fakes for human review, but user flags and comments still help recognize what content might not be accurate.

Games with Gold and Spotlight Sale bring big price drops on Xbox-exclusive games

It's that time of the month again! Microsoft has posted their new Deals with Gold discounts. We've assembled a short and sweet version, highlighting only the best deals you can get right now for the Xbox One.

‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’: Everything you need to know

Ubisoft will release Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October for consoles and PC. Here is everything you need to know about the next chapter of Assassin's Creed, including the story and setting.

Drain bucket after bucket with our ‘NBA 2K19’ offense guide

From getting quality shots, to moving the rock, to tricking defenders with sick dribbles, to the increasingly important pick and roll, our NBA 2K19 offense guide will help you put up points in a hurry.

Vimeo thinks regular stock video stinks, launches alternative for creatives

When creators told Vimeo existing stock video options weren't enough, the video platform decided to launch its own. Vimeo Stock includes exclusive content, while creators are being promised a higher-than-average cut of the revenue.

Snap's Spectacles 2 can take stills and don't mind the rain

Snapchat has announced new styles for its Spectacles camera-equipped sunglasses. Spectacles 2 are able to take still images and are water-resistant. They're available to order now through Snap's website. 
Social Media

As Twitter and Facebook growth slows, Pinterest hits 250 million users

Pinterest is now home to 250 million active users, despite a pattern of slowed growth and even reduced numbers among the latest reports from other networks. Pinterest also now boasts more than 175 billion pins.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.

10 viral video celebrities from the past and where they are now

Ever wonder what happened to William Hung after his less-than-stellar American Idol audition? We take a look at 10 of the most popular viral video celebrities and see what they are up to today.
Social Media

New to Snapchat? Follow our guide and go from newbie to pro

Whether you're a Snapchat addict or a newbie, our detailed Snapchat guide will help you become a pro in no time. Find out how to get started, spice up your snaps, chat, send money, and carry out a host of other useful actions.
Social Media

How to run a free background check

There are plenty of legitimate reasons for carrying out a background check, and not all of them are creepy. Here are several methods that allow you to run a thorough background check on someone online, whether you need to vet a potential…
Social Media

Twitter makes it easier to find and watch live broadcasts

Twitter is making further efforts to promote livestreams and broadcasts on its service. Rolling out globally, live video broadcasts from accounts that you follow will now appear at the top of your timeline.

Instagram’s shopping stickers for businesses see wide rollout

As the Stories format continues to grow, Instagram is allowing users to shop the items inside a Stories photo or video. Instagram recently expanded stickers that let people shop inside a Story by tapping on the sticker.
Social Media

Facebook is paying cash rewards if you find vulnerabilities in third-party apps

As part of efforts to put the Cambridge Analytica scandal and related issues behind it, Facebook said this week it's expanding its bug bounty program to include third-party apps and websites that could potentially misuse its data.