Facebook Pages Spreading Fake News Won't Be Able To Buy Ads

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Under Facebook's rules, advertisers are already not allowed to run ads that link to false stories, but this new update takes that ban a step further.

The next step, which the company is announcing today, involves stopping Pages that regularly share these stories from buying any Facebook ads at all, regardless of whether or not the ad includes a disputed link.

Facebook said that it discovered certain groups using Pages as a way to spread fake news, although it didn't say which organizations were doing so.

"False news damages the trust of people who are on Facebook", Facebook product director Rob Leathern told Yahoo Finance. "So, we've made a decision to add this to the list of things to help that informed community". It will actively block Pages from advertising on the site as long as they're spreading fake news. Nor did it detailed as to how long the ban could last. "The distribution of false news is damaging to that objective".

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"We don't want to share that", added Leathern. "We don't want to reveal too much because we don't want them to game the system". The company says that this is going to help reduce the distribution of fake news which will prevent Pages that spread fake news from making money. Earlier this month, Facebook started using advanced machine learning techniques to detect potential hoaxes and send them to fact-checkers.

Monday's announcement comes nine months after last year's controversial USA presidential election, after which Facebook was heavily criticized for playing a role in distributing misleading news coverage.

Facebook acknowledged it had a fake news problem after the 2016 presidential election, thanks to millions of spam accounts and misleading but influential articles posted on newsfeeds.

The issue became a big political topic in Europe, with French voters deluged with false stories ahead of the presidential election in May and Germany backing a plan to fine social media networks if they fail to remove hateful postings promptly, ahead of elections there in September.

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