Facebook added an additional defense today against the spread of fake news and viral hoaxes. If a Facebook page is found to be repeatedly sharing false stories, the company will ban the page from advertising on Facebook. The company uses third-party fact-checking organizations to flag stories that are false. Under Facebook’s rules, advertisers are already not allowed to run ads that link to false stories, but this new update takes that ban a step further.
In a blog post, the company says it is cracking down on the “instances of Pages using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more broadly.” This latest effort is aimed at keeping these false news pages from making money. But if an offending page stops sharing false stories, Facebook says the page may become eligible to run ads again.
Since the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook’s various initiatives combating fake news have included monitoring suspicious accounts that spread fake news and taking out prints ads in the UK advising people how to spot fake news. In today’s announcement, Facebook says misinformation is harmful, and calls out Pages who spread fake news for making the world “less informed.”