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Facebook Takes on Superspreaders


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Illustration of Facebook protecting its platform from misinformation.

Facebook said that it would apply stricter punishments on individual accounts that repeatedly post things that the companys fact checkers have deemed misleading or untrue.

Credit: Jinhwa Oh

Big Internet companies are finally taking misinformation "superspreaders" seriously. (All it took was a global health crisis and the great lie of a rigged election.)

I've written about influential people, including former President Donald J. Trump, who have been instrumental in spreading false information online about important topics like election integrity and vaccine safety. Some of those same people have repeatedly twisted our beliefs — and internet companies have largely given them a pass.

Let's dig into why habitual misinformation peddlers matter and how internet companies have begun to focus on them — including the new rules put in place by Facebook this week.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube deserve credit for beginning to target repeat misinformation offenders. But I also want people to be aware of the limits of the companies' actions and to understand the challenge of applying these policies fairly and transparently.

From The New York Times
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