With growing pressure on Facebook to tackle the issue of “fake news” ahead of the general election in the UK, the social media network today published adverts in UK newspapers to raise awareness about fake news. The adverts are reportedly featured in The Times, The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. This comes after pressure relating to how Facebook and fake news contributed to both the election of Donald Trump in the US and the Brexit referendum in the UK last year.
Facebook’s Ten Steps For Spotting Fake News
Be sceptical of headlines
Look closely at the URL [web address]
Investigate the source
Watch for unusual formatting
Consider the photos
Check the date
Check the evidence
Look at other reports
Is the story a joke?
Some stories are intentionally false [satirical]
As part of the move against fake news, Facebook has also claimed to have shut down ‘tens of thousands’ of fake accounts. In addition to this and the newspaper adverts, Facebook have launched a feature that can automatically detect fake news and stop it from being shared across the social network.
Facebook have admitted that the problem is so large that they simply can’t solve the problem alone, but they are supporting third party fact-checkers during the election in their work with news organisations, so they can independently assess facts and stories.
Is it Enough?
Is this move enough from Facebook? Many have already criticised the social media network for not addressing this issue sooner and claim it is Facebook’s responsibility, and not those using the site, to eradicate fake news.
Facebook say they are committed to blocking fake news, however there are no signs that it is going away any time soon. A BBC Panorama investigation is airing tonight that looks closely at how Facebook played a decisive role in the US election and Brexit last year.
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