Saturday, 29 April, 2017

Facebook launches tool to help users spot 'fake news'

Facebook launches tool to help users spot false news Facebook launches resource to help spot misleading news
Garry Little | 07 April, 2017, 01:55

Facebook believes the measures it has taken so far are already having an effect - Mr Mosseri says false news is less in evidence in the United States than it was during the election campaign and in mainland Europe there has not been any growth in the phenomenon.

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". Now, the world's largest social-networking platform is making good on its promise to educate users about fake news.

Having appeared rather too relaxed about this issue until last November, Facebook is now finding it hard to keep up with the demands for action - and an educational tool may just not cut it.

The tips are helpful and sensible, but the unfortunate fact is that they put a ton of faith in Facebook's 1.8 billion users to exert lots of cognitive effort to detect false news.

The tip sheet goes over information such as "What kinds of false content should I look for", "Why is it being spread?" and provides other information regarding where to locate correct, reliable information.

Facebook has limited its definition of fake news to articles that set out to deceive, contain objectively provable falsehoods and pretend to be from a "legitimate" news site.

"News Feed is a place for authentic communication", said Facebook in a blog post. "Yes we have a responsibility to reduce the amount of time people come across false news ... but also help them to make more informed decisions".

Look closely at the URL. "This is the sort of thing that Facebook might be able to make easier in future", said Moy. "We will continue working on this and we know we have more work to do". This educational tool will help people spot fake news.

That's why it's also tried to take matters into its own hands with product changes and other projects, like working with outside fact checkers to label disputed news stories with warnings in the News Feed. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news. "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?'"

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