Facebook is continuing its fight against fake news, with the latest battlefront that's receiving reinforcements being India, the company said earlier this week, having announced it's launching a dedicated fact-checking program in the South Asian country. The initiative is being introduced in collaboration with independent digital journalism movement BOOM, with its pilot program now being set to start operating in the state of Karnataka.
The program itself is similar to the fact-checking initiatives Facebook is presently running in the United States and other parts of the world, with the company estimating it's capable of reducing a potential reach of any given story by some 80-percent after proving it false. The main challenge of that approach is identifying fake news in a timely manner, i.e. before such content goes viral and possibly even leaves Facebook, which is something that the social media giant has been struggling with since early 2017.
While Facebook endured significant scrutiny related to fake news over the last 18 months due to the role its platfrom played in the 2016 presidential election in the U.S. which was targeted by online misinformation campaigns sponsored by foreign — largely Russian, as per Special Counsel Robert Mueller's recent indictments — actors, such controversies recently took a back seat to the more general issue of digital privacy due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. While the two ordeals are connected by virtue of the fact Cambridge Analytica has been accused of leveraging improperly harvested data of tens of millions of users during the said election, Facebook is now also being targeted by non-stateside regulators over the matter, with the company's business model now being set to endure a major blow in Europe next month that's coming in the form of General Data Protection Regulation, the strictest privacy legislation in the history of the political bloc. The fight against misleading an outright fake news wages on, with some industry experts continuing to insist that misinformation campaigns are not just significantly cheaper but also potentially much more dangerous than even nuclear warfare.