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Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Facebook launches resource to help spot misleading news

Facebook launches resource to help spot misleading news

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defended the platform following the U.S. 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.

Facebook on Thursday ramped up its fight against "fake news" by adding tips on how to tell when shared stories are bogus.

The new tool is also available in French, German and Italian (pictured below). The tool is set to sit at the top of Facebook user News Feeds.

"Some false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humour or satire".

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's latest announcement comes after founder Mark Zuckerberg defended his site following the United States 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.

In a blog post Facebook's Adam Mosseri, the vice president of News Feed, said Facebook is concentrating on three areas around the issue.

Facebook came into this problem because of the poor news literacy, skepticism and proactive research behavior patterns of the modern news reader.

"False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust", Mosseri said. Other tips encourage users to consider the photos in articles, inspect the dates to make sure story timelines make sense, check the author's sources, look at other reports, and consider whether the story is a joke.

In January, Facebook also launched what it called its Journalism Project, which proposed better collaboration with media organizations on the creation of new storytelling products, training and tools for journalists, and to promote news literacy and curb the spread of what it calls "news hoaxes". If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it's more likely to be true.

However, he said educational measures were also necessary to help people evaluate fake news that made it into news feeds while also encouraging a more critical approach to less clear cut attempts to misinform that Facebook would not target.

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