In an effort to further curb the distribution of fake news, Facebook has announced through its official blog, that it will be preventing pages that repeatedly share misleading articles from buying ads on the social networking site. A few months ago, the social network has prevented advertisers from sharing links to stories, that have been marked as incorrect by third-party fact-checking organizations, which include Snopes.com and the Associated Press. Now, the new measure will enforce a stricter punishment, through preventing pages that continuously share fake news from buying ad spots. By preventing the offending pages from advertising, Facebook removes one of the key ways to expand their audience, which is important for these pages to successfully spread fake news and make money. The company did not provide additional information about this new measure, since it may help the affected parties to "game the system". However, this punishment is not permanent, and the page will regain the ability to advertise, once it stops sharing links of articles tagged as inaccurate.
Facebook has been trying to curb the spread of fake news for a while now, mainly by reducing the economic incentive that people get from distributing misinformation. Recently, Facebook started demoting misleading articles from its platform's News Feed, which reduces the audience that websites get from the social network. In addition, Facebook is helping its users make informed decisions regarding potentially misleading articles through its Related Articles feature, which provides the user with several write-ups sporting different perspectives regarding the issue. By diversifying the available viewpoints, the company hopes that the impact of fake news will be lessened as its users are no longer misled by distorted reporting.
The company is also working to improve the tools and services that it currently offers to journalists and media organizations. The social network has also released SDKs that allow for the easy conversion of Instant Articles to Google's AMP and Apple News formats, while also adding support for subscription options. Increasing the participation of both journalists and legitimate news organizations may also help Facebook in its efforts to prevent spreading fake news of spreading even further.