Facebook has been embroiled in a controversy over the proliferation of fake news lately, and among the measures that it's taking to stop the spread of fake news articles, one will not find the suppression of individual sharing, according to a statement from Dan Rose, their vice president of partnerships. According to Rose, Facebook takes a hard stance against the automated or mass sharing of fake news and will flag it and take other appropriate measures against those propagating it on a massive scale, but will not take action against individuals sharing fake news stories with their friends. This stance is being taken mostly to continue allowing the free flow of content of users, which correlates directly with Facebook's core business model, and to avoid accusations of censorship.
Facebook's efforts against fake news run the gamut from punishing news outlets and large pages that share fake news to creating a tool that users can fact-check news posts and flag fake ones with, in collaboration with sites like Politifact. Despite these efforts, Facebook has faced criticism in the past for being one of the largest sources of fake news on the internet. Conversely, their efforts at stemming the tide of fake news have drawn cries of censorship from some. In taking a somewhat neutral stance when it comes to individual users sharing fake news, Facebook has managed to show that while they do care about the issue, they are also opposed to outright censorship or being the ones to decide what is and is not true or worthy of being shared.
The issue of fake news being spread around the net is widespread indeed, and is certainly not limited to Facebook's wheelhouse. By creating tools, dropping the hammer on fake news outlets, educating consumers, and otherwise taking a hands-off approach, Facebook is essentially saying that it's not their job to be the vanguard against fake news on the web, or to be responsible for ensuring that the populace at large develops and maintains a finely honed sense of news and political literacy. While some argue that they could do more in the fight against fake news without venturing into draconian territory, it's not hard to see why this might be a smart move by the company, at least for the time being.