Last week, Facebook announced that it will begin verifying the identities of individuals who create viral content. In other words, the company is trying to detect potentially hidden spreaders of misinformation and propaganda, while stopping coordinated “patterns of inauthentic behavior.”
“We want people to feel confident that they understand who’s behind the content they’re seeing on Facebook and this is particularly important when it comes to content that’s reaching a lot of people,” Facebook product managers Anita Joseph and Michele Paselli wrote in a blog post. “If someone chooses not to verify their identity or the ID provided does not match the linked Facebook account, the distribution of their viral post will remain reduced so fewer people will see it.”
However, Facebook says that it will stop short of outright banning these accounts — a curious half-measure, given how seriously the company is trying to crack down before the 2020 presidential election. It seems like, given the current social and political climate, even a limited spread of misinformation is too much. Still, this represents a step in the right direction for Facebook’s content moderation measures. At least the company is more proactively identifying bad actors this time around.
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