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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

HTLS 2017: Facebook is using every available tool to combat fake news, says Alexandra Hardiman

Alexandra Hardiman said Facebook’s mission is to ensure the platform is not used for abuse.

htls Updated: Nov 30, 2017 22:02 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Alex Hardiman, director of news products at Facebook speaks at the HT Leadership Summit in New Delhi.
Alex Hardiman, director of news products at Facebook speaks at the HT Leadership Summit in New Delhi.(Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

Facebook is increasing investment and has identified four ways to combat the problem of fake news, Alexandra Hardiman, its director of news products, said on Thursday, while also announcing that social media platform will not treat news as a revenue engine.

“We want to make sure that everyone who comes to Facebook will know that they get high-quality, credible news,” Hardiman said while addressing the 15th edition of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

Her comments come at a time of growing concern surrounding misinformation campaigns globally. In India, these have manifested in forms such as hate posts based on morphed pictures or videos and character assassination campaigns. Facebook, in particular, has been at the centre of a controversy when it emerged that foreign actors may have injected advertisements to influence the American presidential elections.

“It [fake news] is a big problem,” she said, while assuring that the company is committed to combat it and is optimistic about making Facebook a more credible platform.

“We are constantly monitoring and using every tool at our disposal to ensure we purge fake news out of Facebook,” Hardiman said.

These measures include using machine learning, third-party partnerships for fact-checking initiatives, keeping tabs on whether its users were “real”, highlighting ways to distinguish credible information, and cutting off monetisation options for dodgy content producers.

“There’s a company-wide mission to ensure the platform is not used for abuse,” she said with regard to attempts to manipulate content on Facebook with the aim of influencing elections.

Click here to follow live updates from the HT Leadership Summit

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 12:23 IST