Facebook announces changes intended to thwart the monetization of ‘fake news’

Facebook execs plan to implement new standards for users who post content that generates ad revenue. They are excluding “misinformation and false news” sites, according to Nick Grudin, Facebook’s vice president of media partnerships.

“As we continue to expand our monetization offerings, it’s important that we provide clear guidelines around what can and cannot be monetized on our platform,” Grudin wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Those who share content that repeatedly violates our Content Guidelines for Monetization, share clickbait or sensationalism, or post misinformation and false news may be ineligible or may lose their eligibility to monetize.”

The move may be the result of heightened scrutiny over the content spread by some outlets on social media, following the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook was specifically targeted, accused of not doing more to prevent the spread of “fake news.”

Fake news is typically defined as content which is intentionally inaccurate and meant to capitalize on certain political or social biases. It is regularly spread by some sites.

The designation is sometimes improperly ascribed to any news that is deemed “wrong” by a person with a differing viewpoint.

Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions, announced in a separate post that Facebook would provide advertisers with more insight into the content to which their ads were attached.

“Some marketers told me they are feeling uneasy,” Everson wrote. “Chief among their concerns are the issues of viewability, online ad metrics and brand safety. We hear them loud and clear.”

She referenced Grudin’s post, writing that Facebook is introducing the new eligibility standards to provide “clearer guidance around the types of publishers and creators eligible to earn money on Facebook,” and what content can be monetized.

“These standards will apply to ad placements where context could matter, including in-stream ads and Instant Articles, ” Everson continued.

She said that brands want to know where their ads are delivered, therefore Facebook will begin “providing advertisers with post-campaign reporting,” which will identify on which publishers their ads run across the different platforms.

“At Facebook, we take very seriously our responsibility to earn and maintain the trust of our advertiser partners—and give them the confidence they need to invest in us. That’s critical to their success and ours,” she wrote.

Dennis Michael Lynch, CEO of DML News believes there are lots of questions to be answered.   “Who makes the determination?”  DML continued, “Facebook selected partners to determine what is fake news versus what is not.  The partners they chose have been accused of spreading inaccurate information themselves numerous times.  ABC News and Washington Post are two of the biggest culprits.  And the other issue is the troll.  I can see radical organizations spouting up offering paid trolls to mark posts as fake news.  Then there’s the question of sensationalism. Is calling out Hillary Clinton for Benghazi sensationalism? Is calling Trump a racist sensationalism? I hope Facebook addresses these concerns.”

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