Facebook Takes Out Full-Page Ads on How to Spot ‘Fake News’ in U.K. Newspapers


Facebook has taken out full-page advertisements in U.K. newspapers on how to spot “fake news” ahead of the upcoming general election.

VentureBeat reports that the social media company has taken out full-page ads in U.K. newspapers as part of an initiative to show that Facebook is actively fighting “fake news” on their platform. The ads will be featured nationwide in publications such as The Guardian and The Telegraph next month and will advise readers on how to spot manipulated images, altered website URL’s, and to be skeptical of misleading headlines. Similar ads were published in France last month before the country’s presidential election.

The majority of tips in the advertisement come from U.K. fact-checking service Full Fact, who have partnered with Facebook to help monitor “fake news” and misinformation on the platform. Some points on the list include:

  1. Be sceptical of headlines

    False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.

  2. Look closely at the URL

    A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site to compare the URL to established sources.

  3. Investigate the source

    Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organisation, check their ‘About’ section to learn more.

  4. Watch for unusual formatting

    Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these things.

  5. Consider the photos

    False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.

The social media company recently announced that they had removed “tens of thousands” of U.K. accounts in an effort to fight the spread of misinformation.

Simon Miller, Facebook’s Director of Policy for the UK, said, “People want to see accurate information on Facebook and so do we. That is why we are doing everything we can to tackle the problem of false news. We can’t solve this problem alone so we are supporting third party fact-checkers during the election in their work with news organizations, so they can independently assess facts and stories.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com


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