Facebook is rating your trustworthiness

Facebook app.
(Image credit: iStock/HStocks)

Facebook has gone from rating the trustworthiness of its publishers to rating the trustworthiness of its users.

The tech giant is now assigning users a "reputation score" by rating them on a scale of zero to one, reports The Washington Post. The initiative is part of Facebook's effort to stop the spread of fake news, with the goal of identifying people who falsely report news items on a consistent basis. It's not unheard of "for people to tell us something is false simply because they disagree with the premise of a story or they're intentionally trying to target a particular publisher," said Facebook product manager Tessa Lyons.

The rating system is rather simple. When Facebook receives a "fake news" report, the company verifies the claim with a third-party fact checker. If the article is found to be accurate, the user's credibility score goes down the next time they try to flag an article. If the article is actually false, the user's score improves.

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Unfortunately for users, trustworthiness scores are only available to Facebook. The company previously announced that it would give users the opportunity to rate media outlets based on their perceived trustworthiness; those ratings would then help determine which articles received a higher spot in the News Feed. Since the 2016 election and Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have tried to reshape their image by speaking out against fake news. Read more about the reputation scores at The Washington Post.

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Amari Pollard

Amari Pollard is the social media editor at The Week and has written for Reader's Digest, Parents, and Inside Lacrosse. She studied journalism at Le Moyne College and can usually be found exploring Brooklyn, thrift shopping, or spending way too much money on brunch.