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Facebook begins fact-checking news in poll-bound Karnataka

New Delhi, April 18: With Karnataka heading for the polls in May, Facebook has announced a third-party fact-checking programme in the state to fight spread of fake news on its platform. The social media giant on Tuesday announced a partnership with BOOM, an independent digital journalism initiative, for a pilot programme that will be rolled out in the state. Karnataka goes to election on May 12, and the counting of votes will take place on May 15. “Starting today, BOOM, certified through the International Fact-Checking Network, non-partisan international fact checking network at Poynter, will be able to review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy,” Facebook said in a blog post. BOOM is part of Ping Digital Network (www.pingnetwork.in) based in Mumbai. It is a fact-checking website and has been in existence since 2014. Facebook has 217 million monthly active users in India. “We are beginning small and know it is important to learn from this test and listen to our community as we continue to update ways for people to understand what might be false news in their News Feed,” the social networking giant said. Once a story is rated as false, Facebook has learned to reduce its distribution by 80 per cent. “When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. This, in turn, stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it,” Facebook said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita