Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Facebook to educate users about fake news

Facebook to educate users about fake news

What could be more effective is a German plan to combat hate speech and fake news that Facebook does not like one bit.

What's more, the social media company is running a campaign in 14 countries for the next three days intent on helping "people become more discerning readers".

Facebook has promised to crack down on fake news on the platform by "disrupting the incentives" for people to post it and educating its users on how to spot it. This week, users in 14 countries, including the US, will see an alert above the News Feed several times over the next few days that links them to Facebook's Help Center where they can read "Tips to Spot False News".

Facebook has introduced a new educational tool to help users spot fake news stories posted to the social networking site.

Misleading stories take advantage of some of the same qualities that help news go viral, such as surprising and emotional headlines that start conversations. "All of us have a responsibility to curb the spread of false news", Facebook said.

Adam Mosseri, the social network's News Feed boss, said: "We know people want to see accurate information on Facebook - and so do we". The headlines of fake news stories are often catchy, and contain lots of capital letters and exclamation marks. "There's a next step that we would like to see Facebook ask itself: 'Can it help users answer some of these questions more easily?'"

Facebook has consulted with United Kingdom fact checking organisation Full Fact on the advice it is recommending people follow. Check the URL. For example, if not looked at closely could be mistaken for this website.

"False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust", Mosseri said.

Users are also told they can report a story they believe is false to Facebook.

"Promoting a critical reading of information is a priority", California-based Facebook said.

Johnson said recent research and some focus groups have suggested that's true of adults as well and points to a need for Canadians to be skeptical of what they read online and to double-check information before sharing it widely with others. What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? False news runs counter to our mission to connect people with the stories they find meaningful.

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