After months of testing, Facebook is expanding its Related Articles feature to fight “fake news” nationwide.
The effort is designed to give users “additional perspectives and information, including articles by third-party fact-checkers,” Sara Su, a product manager at Facebook, explained back in April.
Facebook first launched its Related Articles feature in 2013. At the time, it was designed simply as a mechanism for encouraging greater user engagement.
For Facebook, red flags include repeated postings of the same content and an increase in messages sent.
By its own measure, Facebook is getting better at spotting spam, bogus accounts, fake news, con jobs and other types of misinformation.
“We’ve made improvements to recognize these inauthentic accounts more easily by identifying patterns of activity … without assessing the content itself,” Shabnam Shaik, a technical program manager on Facebook’s Protect and Care Team, recently noted.
Going forward, Shaik said he and his team were focused on sidelining the biggest and more prolific offenders. “Our priority … is to remove the accounts with the largest footprint, with a high amount of activity and a broad reach,” he said.
In partnership with top third-party fact-checking organizations, Facebook recently launched  ;a full-frontal attack on bogus news.
However, not everyone has applauded Facebook’s approach to fighting fake news.
Among other critics, Mike Caulfield, director of blended and networked learning at Washington State University Vancouver, recently took to Medium to air his grievances.
Among other gripes, Caulfield said he thought Facebook’s proposed process takes too long, deals only with “surface issues, targets fake news but not slanted claims,” and it doesn’t effectively make use of its own powerful network.