By Nyah Toomes
Facebook has recently installed two new features; the detection of fake news and the detection of suicidal users. These features are attempting to the fight against false political news and other hoaxes, and to lower suicide rates by providing suicidal users with support.
Facebook has partnered with ABC News, Politifact, FactCheck.com, Associated Press, and Snopes to crack down on fake news. The website’s algorithm will detect the illegitimacies thoguh users who flag suspected articles as “disputed.”
The new feature will make false media less visible and warn fact checkers about the fake news posts. Since there are multiple fabricated stories floating around on Facebook. The website will only send the popular articles to the fact checkers to avoid overwhelming them.
Isaiah Mercado, junior, stated, “I think the new feature is great because I sometimes would believe fake news [in the past]. [It] will help people stop believing everything they see online.”
However, critics have accused Facebook of suppressing freeFacebook features dom of speech. Facebook’s Vice President of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, stated to TechCrunch, “We believe in giving people a voice […] but we also believe we have a responsibility to reduce the spread of fake news on Facebook.”
In addition, Facebook is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to spot the warning signs of potentially suicidal users. For example, the AI will look for posts such as “I’m sad” or friends commenting “Are you okay?”
If the AI discovers self-harm posts, it will first consult with the Facebook human review team before trying to reach out to the user with mental health support. The website will also detect suicidal behavior on its live streaming feature.
Facebook has also partnered with several American mental health organizations, such as Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and Save.org, to give users the option to reach out to the facilities through Facebook Messenger. Since this feature is quite new, the AI will only be tested in the U.S.
This is the first time Facebook has used advanced technology to detect human behavior.