From reporting by Business Insider, the new software is being described as a “virality circuit-breaker.” Facebook isn’t the first organization to conceptualize this idea. The idea of a virality circuit-breaker was first proposed in a report by the Center for American Progress, and Facebook’s new tool seems to be designed upon the same premise.
According to CAP’s report, “Platforms should detect, label, suspend algorithmic amplification, and prioritize rapid review and fact-checking of trending coronavirus content that displays reliable misinformation markers, which can be drawn from the existing body of coronavirus mis/disinformation.”
But even CAP was the first to think up this system; it’s widely applied by financial institutions, and used as a failsafe to shut down the stock market in the case of a widespread panic. The fact that we’re approaching digital misinformation with the same level of sensitivity as global markets shows the severity of the issue.
At Defeat Disinfo, we’ve written at length about the maneuvers that tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have made to do their part in disseminating truth to the American people. Trump hasn’t made their job easy, and the rollout of this sort of software could indicate how seriously Facebook plans to take this matter over the next several months.You can read more about what Facebook is doing to design a disinfo “failsafe” here.