Facebook has rolled out a new reporting option today which will let users alert FB to false and misleading news stories. If enough people tag a post with the complaint that it's fake, Facebook says that it will get reduced distribution in news deed. Posts that receive lots of reports will also be annotated with a message warning people that many others on Facebook have reported it:
Facebook says they've adding this reporting option a while ago, after getting numerous requests:
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.
The new reporting option looks like this:
I don't know about you but I would much prefer to tell someone that the story they linked to is fake rather than have Facebook hide it from me. Sure, whoever shared the link might delete it, but my interest wasn't in getting rid of the content but in interacting with the person who posted it.
Even if the story is bogus, I think it's more fun to tell someone it's bogus than to have the story algorithmicly vanished into the ether.
But on the plus side, this should mean that we're finally going to see the last of "Facebook is going to start charging!" posts, which should vanish along with that bogus copyright notice post which goes around every few months.
So it's not a total loss.