Facebook will no longer be tagging with a “disputed” tag, a measure implemented this year in an attempt to help reduce “fake news” on their platform. The tag was meant to make its users question the source in hopes to reduce ‘Fake News’. But the tactic didn’t design for human pigheadedness where, when you tell someone their opinion is wrong, they simply entrench further in that opinion.
Facebook published two posts on their blog recently, both mentioning that the tag would soon be dropped.
Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs — the opposite effect to what we intended. Related Articles, by contrast, are simply designed to give more context, which our research has shown is a more effective way to help people get to the facts. Indeed, we’ve found that when we show Related Articles next to a false news story, it leads to fewer shares than when the Disputed Flag is shown.
During these tests, we learned that although click-through rates on the hoax article don’t meaningfully change between the two treatments, we did find that the Related Articles treatment led to fewer shares of the hoax article than the disputed flag treatment.