Facebook launches resource to help spot misleading news

Facebook

The danger of fake news

The new feature will sit at the top of the News Feed and offer tips on how to identify information that is now known widely as "fake news". The tool is set to sit at the top of Facebook user News Feeds. Beginning April 7th a new education tool will be rolling out to better inform Facebook users about misleading content.

Check the source. Ensure the story comes from a source with a reputation for accuracy.

"Some false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humour or satire". Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.

In a blog post Facebook's Adam Mosseri, the vice president of News Feed, said Facebook is concentrating on three areas around the issue.

These seem to be solid tips for helping people spot fake newsWhat Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? Other tips encourage users to consider the photos in articles, inspect the dates to make sure story timelines make sense, check the author's sources, look at other reports, and consider whether the story is a joke. Think critically about the stories that you read, and only share articles which you know to be credible.

It has also teamed up with media organisations on fact-checking initiatives in France and the Netherlands, while a project is due to launch in Germany soon.

Mosseri said the majority of fake news on Facebook was created for financial rather than political gain and its impact could be reduced by limiting how often people see it and cutting off the supply of ad revenue. "It's not a new phenomenon, and all of us - tech companies, media companies, newsrooms, teachers - have a responsibility to do our part in addressing it".

"It's the first time we're doing something of this magnitude", said Kevin Chan, head of public policy at Facebook.

Facebook advises users to be skeptical of headlines, look closely at URLs, investigate the source of news, and watch for unusual formatting. We've found that a lot of fake news is financially motivated.

Google previous year incorporated a "fact-check" tag into some news pages published south of the border to help readers of more prominent stories find fact-checked content and said it was actively working to bring the feature to Canada "in the near future". "We would like to get to as many countries as possible".

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