Papua New Guinea Is Banning Facebook For One Month

Papua New Guinea is planning to shut down the social media site in its effort to identify fake accounts and blocks fake news.

Papua New Guinea has decided to ban Facebook for a month while the government tries to block fake news. They are also strengthening their efforts to identify fake accounts.

According to Communications Minister Sam Basil, the shutdown will “allow information to be collected” about people using the social media site. Those who upload porn and defamatory information will be removed from Facebook.

“This will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly,” said Basil.

The government is looking into developing a local alternative to the social media giant.

“If there need be then we can gather our local applications developers to create a site that is more conducive for Papua New Guineans to communicate within the country and abroad as well,” Basil was quoted as saying by local media.

There is no announcement yet on when the government will carry out the shutdown. The capital Port Moresby is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit later this year. The government might schedule the ban to coincide with this event.


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Fake News in Facebook is Being Shrinked

Facebook Shrinks Fake News

Fake news are being shrinked by Facebook. Fake news are in the News Feed are harder to see as Facebook is shrinking the size of the links to content that has been verified by third-party fact-checkers as inaccurate. According to a Facebook spokesperson, they have reduced the visual prominence of feed stories that are fact-checked false.

Fake news appear on mobile as a headline and image in one small row. Accurate news links feature a large feature and are considerably more noticeable.

Facebook’s New Strategy

This development is Facebook’s new strategy to combat misleading information. Facebook gave details of this new strategy at the Fighting Abuse @ Scale conference in San Francisco. Director of News Feed Michael McNally and data scientist Lauren Bose spoke about Facebook’s ecosystem approach to tackling fake news. This strategy include removing false accounts and assets like clusters of fraudulently created Pages. Banning ads on malicious pages, and limiting the distribution of false posts are also included in this strategy be Facebook.

Other Developments

Facebook will also use Artificial Intelligence combined with flagged user reports to moderate content. Machine learning is used to predict posts that are more likely to be false news. This will help prioritize materials being sent to fact-checkers.
But modernization will always be a problem, especially on a huge platform where posts are constant. Facebook announced that it would no longer use Disputed Flags to identify false news. They would use its related articles instead.

The more you tell people not to do something, the more they do it. Human nature probably. That is what happened when Facebook put the red flags on debunked fake news. Users who believed the fake news actually shared the hoaxes more.

Facebook had to ditch the red flags in favor of Related Articles with more level headed perspective from trusted new sources.

Censorship Or Sensibility

Facebook is trying to walk a fine line between censorship or sensibility. The purpose of shrinking fake news is to make it easier to miss these stories rather than call more attention to it. Facebook said that this development can reduce the spread of fake news by 80%. But they have yet to prove it. Much work need to be done and the company is hiring more people to ensure that this strategy will be effective.

Explore Feed Test: Facebook To End News Feed Experiment In 6 Countries

Social media giant Facebook said that it would eventually end its experiment called the “Explore Feed Test.” The experiment was tested in six countries from which it separated posts from news sites from other materials found on the social media network.

“We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone. Some of these changes-like Reactions, Live Video, and GIFs- work well and go on to become globally available. Others don’t, and we drop them. Today, we’re ending one of those tests: the Explore Feed,” Adam Mosseri, who heads Facebook’s News Feed, said in a statement posted in Facebook’s newsroom.


What is Facebook’s Explore Feed Test


Mosseri said that the social media giant could perform well had it communicated with publishers about its so-called Explore Feed Test. Several news organizations from Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Serbia hit out the company for allegedly “blindsiding” them.


Facebook’s Explore Feed Test started back in October, and Facebook users complained that the experiment actually contributed to the rise of fake news.


“In surveys, people told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didn’t actually help them connect more with friends and family,” Mosseri explained. “We also received feedback that we made it harder for people in the test countries to access important information, and that we didn’t communicate the test clearly,” she added.

The Facebook official said that based on the survey “people don’t want two separate feeds.”

“We think our recent changes to News Feed that prioritize meaningful social interactions better address the feedback we heard from people who said they want to see more from friends and family. Those changes mean less public content in News Feed like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” she said.

Fake News Can Be Identified and Alert Facebook Users

In a world revolving around internet connection, people often rely on sites for news. One of them is the ever popular, Facebook. But sometimes, a rampage of fake news happens.

Identifying Fake News

Facebook once used the “disputed flag” to identify a hoax. It is a red icon indicating a fake news.

Now, the company announced that there will be a change. Related articles will be shown next to hoax posts instead.

Related articles may help users have more context about a certain news. With more information, they will be able to know if a news is false or not.

This is actually better because Facebooks sometimes overlook hoax posts and doesn’t indicate them being one.

Sharing a hoax news will also prompt a pop up, notifying them of additional reporting to fact checkers.

Different social networks long struggled against these fake news on their platforms.

They continue to try and combat the spread of false content.


After Google, Facebook Steps Up War On Fake News

After Alphabet-owned company Google, social media giant Facebook is stepping up its campaign to combat fake news online. The social media company is now introducing a new feature that would change how fake news would be flagged down.

This week, Facebook claims that it started showing warning signs to articles that could potentially mislead people. The company said that it has to employ a more effective strategy because fabricated media reports tend to appear more credible and believable to netizens.

The feature, according to Facebook, will alert users about the article if it is misleading. This can be done by using a third-party fact-checking websites. The fact-checking websites will assess if the content is e either fake or misleading.

How Facebook is killing fake news on the web?

With the current feature, Facebook users will be able to see related articles next to the stories that contained questionable information. By doing so, it will give further context and eventually help users discern if the information coming from offending stories are fake or not.

“Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs – the opposite effect to what we intended,” Facebook product manager Tessa Lyons as quoted saying in a Facebook blogpost.

“False news undermines the unique value that Facebook offers: the ability for you to connect with family and friends in meaningful ways. It’s why we’re investing in better technology and more people to help prevent the spread of misinformation,” Lyons added.

The Facebook official further explained that they are making progress on their efforts to fight fake news.

“Overall, we’re making progress. Demoting false news (as identified by fact-checkers) is one of our best weapons because demoted articles typically lose 80 percent of their traffic. This destroys the economic incentives spammers, and troll farms have to generate these articles in the first place,” she said.

Google News: Google Is Waging War Against Fake News

Search engine giant Google has taken a new level to fight fake news in Google News. The proliferation of fake news across the web has caused public uproar. In fact, fake news has caused people to mislead people from reading the rubbish information.

To fight the spread of fake news, Google is now taking a new measure. The Alphabet-owned company is planning to block websites that masked their country of origin. These fake websites are showing up on Google News.

Hence, the tech giant has updated their guidelines to fight the proliferation of fake news. With Google’s updated policy, web or content creators must obediently follow the content guidelines on Google News.

What’s with Google’s new policy?

Among other things that content creators must abide is that websites must be transparent. This means that websites included in Google News must not misrepresent, misstate or conceal information. This includes the primary purpose, ownership, or any activities of the websites that may mislead users.

Also, Google’s new updated policy include websites that masked their country of origin or are directed at users from another country under the false platform.

Tech analyst claims that Google’s updated policy is expected to create a small impact. They particularly lauded the move of Google to target websites that mask their country of origin.

By doing so, Google is slowly fighting the proliferation of fake news. This is not the first time that a tech company has been dragged in the fake news issue. Social media site like Facebook was dragged on the issue, saying it amplifies the spread of fake news.

The issue of fake news surfaced during this year’s campaign election. The public is blaming the spread of fake news that helped catapulted Trump into power. For some, Google’s move is not surprising since the company’s search engine works as the primary source of news on the internet.

Snapchat: Our Hero From Fake News and Misinformation?

Whether we like it or not, social media is all over the place. We have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, among others. I admit, I am also a fan of these social media sites and my day isn’t complete if I can’t open my Facebook account in a day.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.With these websites, you can communicate with people across the globe. We can also gather information about various happenings.

But how reliable are the news posted in social media?

We can’t be 100% sure that all posts in these sites are true. Pictures can be manipulated. Videos can be posted later than the real time that it was taken in order to make up a story. So, you might ask. What is the better option?


With so many media sites dominating the scene, we opt to know which is the best option. For now, I admit that it’s Facebook. With millions  of Facebook users all over the world, it’s really easy to keep in touch and gather information. But as stated above, some posts can be misleading because of what our modern technology can do.

But there’s one social media site which gives us real-time posts. That is Snapchat. Using this app is like living the moment. You get to capture real-time photos and and record real-time videos as well. These media files can’t be manipulated to mislead people because it is posted after it’s captured.

The downside of this app is that it’s still a bit hard to use. But it’s founder, Evan Spiegel, mentioned that they will make the app user-friendly.

As for me, this isn’t too bad at all. It’s kind of saddening to know that there are people who are victimized by fake news that they find in social media. This will be a good way for real-time posts.