Facebook tells users how to spot fake news

Facebook tells users how to spot fake news

Facebook has launched an advertising campaign to improve people’s awareness of fake news shared online as platforms continue to suffer with misinformation.

The initiative – which will run across the social network from July – encourages users to question what they read online.

Devised in consultation with fact-checking partner Full Fact, the ads will ask the public to check whether a post is from a trusted source, ensure they read beyond headlines, and be alert to manipulated images, as well as reflecting on how it makes them feel.

One of the campaign ads used by Facebook to make users more aware of fake news (Facebook/PA)
One of the campaign ads used by Facebook to make users more aware of fake news (Facebook/PA)

“People who make false news try to manipulate your feelings,” warns one of the messages.

“If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

It comes at a tense time for the tech giant, which has faced questions over its handling of misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier in June, medics told MPs that misinformation about Covid-19 online is having a direct impact on their work and called on platforms to do more to tackle the issue.

Senior executives from Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have been grilled by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee about the matter several times during lockdown.

Facebook says it has removed hundreds of thousands of coronavirus-related misinformation that could contribute to imminent physical harm since the outbreak began, such as false claims about cures and harmful content that links 5G technology to the disease.

Facebook asks people to consider where a news story seen on social media is from to determine whether or not it is trustworthy (Facebook/PA)
Facebook asks people to consider where a news story seen on social media is from to determine whether or not it is trustworthy (Facebook/PA)

Speaking about the new campaign, Steve Hatch, Facebook’s vice president for northern Europe, said: “With so many ways to consume the news, it can be difficult to make informed choices about what to read, trust and share.

“This campaign is about asking people three simple questions to help them challenge the information they are reading so they can be more informed.

“Media literacy is a crucial part of stopping the spread of false news and we are proud to be working with Full Fact and The Diana Award to help tackle this issue.”

The ads will appear on Facebook across the UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, alongside a dedicated advice website, stampoutfalsenews.com.

“People should ask themselves three simple questions about anything they read online,” said Will Moy, chief executive of Full Fact.

“Where’s it from? What’s missing? And how does it make you feel?

“Emotive content can be more likely to persuade you into believing false news.”

The ads also warn people not to share content if they are not sure how true it is (Facebook/PA)
The ads also warn people not to share content if they are not sure how true it is (Facebook/PA)

Facebook recently announced that it will start alerting users if an article they are about to share is old, to prevent outdated news from being used to mislead.

Posts containing an article older than 90 days will carry a notification whenever a user clicks the share button.

Elsewhere, the company announced last week that it is banning adverts containing claims that people of a specific race, religion or sexual orientation are a threat to others, as part of measures to tackle hate speech.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday that Facebook wants to do more to prohibit “divisive and inflammatory language that has been used to sow discord”.

More on this topic

Zoom boss says it ‘will not stop’ focus on security improvementsZoom boss says it ‘will not stop’ focus on security improvements

Retro style Marshall smart speaker with a big voiceRetro style Marshall smart speaker with a big voice

Facebook chief defends approach to hate speech amid growing advertiser boycottFacebook chief defends approach to hate speech amid growing advertiser boycott

UK, Italy, Spain offered to limit scope of proposed digital taxUK, Italy, Spain offered to limit scope of proposed digital tax


More in this Section

Taxi drivers demand mandatory mask-wearing by passengersTaxi drivers demand mandatory mask-wearing by passengers

UK moneylender Amigo sees customer settlement costs risingUK moneylender Amigo sees customer settlement costs rising

Interim examiner appointed to the Irish-headquartered parent of Apple reseller Compu bInterim examiner appointed to the Irish-headquartered parent of Apple reseller Compu b

Rosslare announces €30m plan to transform the portRosslare announces €30m plan to transform the port


Lifestyle

Des O'Sullivan previews the diverse items that will spark interest among collectorsAntiques: From a sword to crystal chandeliers and a dictionary

Kya deLongchamps strikes up the band for some lesser copied American mid-centuryIt's July 4 so let's strike up the band for American designs

Blessed are the cheesemakers! Let’s all do our bit to support small Irish producers, many of whom are still experiencing real hardship.Darina Allen: Why we need to support the small Irish producers in our cheese industry

Courgettes are part of the squash and marrow family, they are available all year round but are particularly good in the summer. When buying courgette, look for smaller, younger ones as these will have the best flavour. Currabinny Cooks: From simple salad to quick loafs, here's how you should cook courgettes

More From The Irish Examiner