Facebook to Remove ‘Fake News’ That Leads to Violence

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Facebook says it will begin removing false information from its site that could lead to violence.

“There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm” in certain countries, the U.S. social media giant said in a statement Wednesday announcing the policy.

The company says it will work with local organizations to identify such information, including written posts and doctored photos.

Facebook has been accused for allowing users to spread hate speech and false information that has led to recent violence in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India. Sri Lanka imposed a state of emergency in March after false news posted on Facebook led to deadly attacks on the country’s minority Muslim population by Buddhist mobs.

The California-based company was thrust into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign through the spread of misinformation among voters. It was revealed last September that Russians, using fake names, used social media to try to influence voters ahead of the election.

Facebook founder and chief operating officer Mark Zuckerberg sparked criticism Wednesday when he tried to explain the difference between misinformation and offensive speech. 

In an interview published by the technology news site Recode, Zuckerberg said he would not ban people who deny the Holocaust, the mass genocide of 6 million European Jews carried out by Nazi Germany.

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