Facebook shuts off advertising supply for pages spreading fake news

Facebook has just bolstered its defense strategy against fake news and content. Now, Pages that continue to share fake stories will be banned from advertising on Facebook.

The social media giant uses a third-party fact-checking company to flag stories that turn out to be false.

Although Facebook already provides a clear set of rules that prohibit advertisers from running campaigns which link to false content, ads linking to fraudulent content had long been circulating on the platform.

The move will seriously impact Pages spreading such stories as it essentially cuts a major way of funding for them. Indeed, by cutting the financial incentive for spreading these stories, the social media group hopes it can prevent them from being created.

The company said in a blog post:

We’ve found instances of Pages using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more broadly. Now, if a Page repeatedly shares stories that have been marked as false by third-party fact-checkers, they will no longer be able to buy ads on Facebook.

However, if an offending page stops sharing false news, they may eventually be able to start running ads again.

In addition to the roll-out Facebook said it was continuing to invest in the product creation to halt the spread of false news stories.

Previous incentives to curb fake news include monitoring of Pages and account which spread fake news as well as informing the public on how to recognise such stories.