A scourge of websites peddling fake news stories have run rampant on Facebook this year, prompting alarm that misinformation influenced the outcome of the presidential election and generally makes people dumber. For its part, Facebook initially wavered on the issue, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg playing down the effect of phony stories on the social network. But late last month, the tech mogul outlined a plan for the company to battle fake news.
So it’s curious, then, that Facebook today disabled a popular browser-extension that flags spurious news articles. Called B.S. Detector, the extension is known for initiating a warning when links hawking erroneous headlines -- like “Pope Francis Shocks The World, Endorses Donald Trump For President”-- appear in one’s newsfeed.
Since Facebook’s decision to block the B.S. Detector wasn’t publicly announced, the extension’s developer, Daniel Sieradski, had to notify the world of the news via Twitter: