Facebook takes its fight against fake news to UK newspapers
If you’re partial to acquiring your news in a print format, you may have noticed something a little different about your newspaper this morning. That’s because from yesterday (Monday 8th May) Facebook will be rolling out ads in several of the UK’s top newspapers, including The Times, The Guardian and Daily Telegraph, to give readers tips on spotting fake news.
Facebook has already removed thousands of fake news stories from its site and plans to hire 3000 more employees to review content going forward.
However, this campaign marks Facebook’s first big move towards combating the rapid growth of fake news, after experiencing growing pressure from high profile individuals and organisations, including MPs, to deal with the ever increasing issue.
While fake news certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, propaganda has been a tool used throughout the ages to influence and control, fresh fears have been raised of late about its growing visibility and impact on key geo-political events. After speculation that fake news on Facebook may have interfered with the EU Referendum and likely influenced the US Presidential Election result, there has been an overwhelming outcry for social networking sites to do more. And with the UK General Election only a month away and France’s Presidential race just concluded, Facebook’s latest campaign seems timely.
Some of the tips you might see published in your newspaper include:
- Be sceptical of headlines
- Look closely at the web address
- Investigate the source
- Watch for unusual formatting
- Consider the images used
- Inspect the date the story was published
- Check the evidence
- Look at other reports
- Is the story a joke?
- Blatant lies
This latest move by Facebook in the UK follows on from similar campaigns in German and French newspapers and will no doubt extend to other countries across the globe in due course. Will Facebook be able to eradicate propaganda as a result of its endeavours? Certainly not. Will it be able to pacify the powers that be that it is taking reasonable measures to help combat it? Facebook will be hoping so!