Facebook is publishing adverts in UK press in order to raise awareness of fake news. With papers such as The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph all advertising tips for spotting these false stories.
The social media site is under fresh political pressure to tackle fake news in the run up to the UK general election next month, after it was suspected that Facebook influenced both the US election and Britain’s EU referendum last year. For the majority of people, Facebook is their main source of news and if this news is fake then people will be voting based on false information.
The platform said it had already removed thousands of fake Facebook accounts and that systems were now monitoring the repeated posting of the same content or a sharp increase in messaging, and those that are displaying this activity will be flagged. Google and Facebook also say that they are committed to blocking the creators from using ad services but are finding that they are continuing to pop up.
Despite the efforts being put in to prevent these accounts from spreading fake news, we must still be able to tell whether what we are reading is accurate. The adverts displayed will consist of the following list of 10 tips to determine whether or not a story is real:
- Be sceptical of headlines
- Look closely at the URL [web address]
- Investigate the source
- Watch for unusual formatting
- Consider the photos
- Check the date
- Check the evidence
- Look at other reports
- Is the story a joke?
- Some stories are intentionally false [satirical]