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Millions of Facebook users will be offered tips on how to spot fake news

Facebook is taking its commitment to stamp out the spread of fake news seriously enough to put together a list of tips and share them with millions of users.

As of today, the social network will add a post to the top of the news feeds of users in 14 different countries.

Anyone who clicks on the post will be presented with 10 tips for identifying misleading or false information. The warning will be rolled out over three days and target users in the UK, the US, Germany, France, Italy, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Myanmar, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, and Canada

“It’s a large problem, predates Facebook, predates the internet. We need to take a multi-pronged approach,” said Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president in charge of the news feed.

“We’re against it and want to take it seriously.”

Facebook’s top three tips for dealing with misinformation are:

  1. Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
  2. Look closely at the URL. A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site and compare the URL to established sources.
  3. Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organization, check their “About” section to learn more.

The company has been under fire for fake news since the US election last year.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defended the platform following the election in November when it was claimed by some that the presence of fake news stories surrounding Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could have influenced some voters.

“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes,” he said at the time.

“That said, we don’t want any hoaxes on Facebook. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news.

“We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here.”


Collected by RG

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