Don't expect to see as many hoaxes in your Facebook news feed going forward as the social network Tuesday announced plans to cleanse itself of fake posts. The Menlo Park, California-based company said it will give users the ability to report stories as false. Stories so flagged will receive "reduced distribution" in the news feed.
They also will be marked with annotations, letting other users know that the content included is probably not true. "Many people on Facebook have reported that this story contains false information," reads an example of one of these annotations. To mark a story as fake, users can click or tap on the down-facing arrows at the top right of every post and then choose "Report this Post."
Facebook said many users who share false stories go back and delete their posts after they realize they've been duped. These changes will help keep users from being misled.
Facebook said it does not expect these changes to harm pages that post content that is intended to be humorous, such as the Onion, or pages that clearly mark their content as satire. "The vast majority of publishers on Facebook will not be impacted by this update. A small set of publishers who are frequently posting hoaxes and scams will see their distribution decrease," Facebook said.