Fake News Facebook Filters Are Coming To Australia

Facebook and Instagram will soon be warning Australian users of false news posts.

Facebook announced on Tuesday it would place 'monitoring overlays' on posts that are deemed 'false news' for users of Facebook and Instagram in the U.S..

The system has been implemented in the lead up to the U.S. Election and is intended to fight viral fake news.

The monitoring overlay will block the post from being seen. Image: Facebook

The overlays will block a post from being viewed unless the users chooses to see it.

A link to the assessment by the fact-checker will also be included so users know why the post has been blocked.

"Content across Facebook and Instagram that has been rated false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker will start to be more prominently labeled so that people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust and share," Facebook said in a statement.

"We’re also introducing a new pop-up that will appear when people attempt to share posts on Instagram that include content that has been debunked by third-party fact-checkers."

Instagram will now warn users if they are posting false news. Image: Facebook

Facebook announced third-party fact checking with Agence France-Presse (an international news agency in France) ahead of the Australian election in May.

Currently, posts and stories that are rated as false are moved lower on news feeds, and Facebook said this has reduced future views by 80 percent.



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The program restricted foreign electoral advertisements ahead of the election, and applied to ads of an "electoral nature, meaning they contain references to politicians, parties or election suppression," Facebook said at the time.

It has since expanded the program to include the Australian Associated Press as a third-part fact checking partner.

Image: Getty

But the social media company will take the monitoring system further on Facebook and Instagram in Australia in the coming weeks.

A Facebook spokesperson told 10 daily the misinformation overlays will start appearing on Australian timelines.

“We’re starting to roll out these new designs on photos and videos in the U.S. today and are working to roll them out globally in the next few weeks," the spokesperson said.

Image: Getty

The move comes just four months after Facebook executive Simon Milner told The Guardian it was not the platform's job to censor political content during the Australian election.

"We do not agree that is is our role to remove content that one side of a political debate considers to be false,” Milner told The Guardian in a letter.

Over the past year, Facebook has removed more than 50 networks worldwide that show coordinated and inauthentic behaviour in the lead up to major democratic elections.