Facebook will roll out a third-party fact-checking program in India. Photo: File
DURBAN - Facebook has announced a third-party fact-checking program in India.

The program which is aimed at combatting the spread of false news will be implemented in the state of Karnataka. The social networking company will be partnering with an independent digital journalism news initiative BOOM for this program.

According to a statement on the Facebook news blog, the social networking company has learned that once a story has been rated as false they have been able to cut down the spread of the story by 80%.

This has improved the accuracy of information on Facebook and decreased misinformation.

Starting this week Boom will be able to evaluate English language news stories that are flagged on the site, check facts and rate their accuracy.

Here is how the fact-checking will work:

When a fact-checker rates a story as false, then Facebook will show it lower in News Feed which will significantly reduce the spreading of the story. This will then stop the hoax from being distributed and cut down on the number of people that will see the hoax.

Pages and domains that frequently share false news will also have their distribution cut down and their ability to monetise and advertise taken away.

Facebook also wants to empower their users by allowing them to decide for themselves what to read, trust and share by giving their users more information and control.

If third-party fact-checkers write articles disproving a false news story, Facebook will display the story in Related Articles, below the story in News Feed.

Facebook will also send users and Page Admins notifications if they try and share a false story or they have previously shared a false story.

The social network company is also working to give people more control and encourage them to give Feedback when they see a false story.

According to Statista research on the countries that have the most Facebook users 2018, India had the most amount of Facebook users.

The statistics showed that India has 270 million Facebook users followed by the United States with 240 million users and then Indonesia with 140 million users.