Donald Trump was elected president last year after a very divisive election that saw the country divided. He benefited from a wave of fake news flooding social media, specifically Facebook.
Russian-backed propaganda contributed to the amount of misinformation. Many stories were shared on the website that lacked proper sourcing or were entirely made up.
This tool also allows users to check if they saw any propaganda on Facebook-owned Instagram.
Facebook pledged a more transparent approach to notifying the public about the "foreign interference in the 2016 US Elections." It says that it took down fake accounts and Pages, sharing the information with Congress.
Facebook estimates that 140 million users may have seen the Russian propaganda. That creates a problem for the new tool — it only helps people who directly followed the accounts or pages that were made by Russian-backed trolls.
Users can't check if they were subjected to one of the 3,000 election ads purchased by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian-backed troll farm.
Facebook's plan includes hiring 10,000 people, this includes ad reviewers, engineers, and security experts. They will be working along with AI and machine learning technology to identify sketchy content and fake accounts.
It has also changed its policy to block ads from Pages that share stories that are declared false by third-party fact-checking organizations.
Transparency is a large part of the plan. Facebook has already shared 3,000 ads from the time of the U.S. election with the Congress. It says it's working with government authorities and other tech companies to fight foreign interference.
Facebook will also be revealing who is paying for political ads. To purchase ads in U.S. elections, people now have to have their identity confirmed.
New updates were implemented by Facebook to curb clickbait stories from appearing in users News Feeds. Facebook also removed economic incentives for spammers to share false news.
Solutions are being welcomed by the community but at this point the damage has been done. Interference in future elections will now be more difficult at this point.