Facebook introduces new tool to help people spot false news

Facebook is hoping to curb the spread of fake news with a new educational tool created to help people spot bogus stories. Clicking on it takes you to tips and other information on how to spot false news and what to do about it.

Tips included checking website addresses along with searching out other sources or articles on topics.

"News Feed is a place for authentic communication", Adam Mosseri, Facebook's VP of News Feed, wrote in a blog post about the tool. These spammers make money by masquerading as legitimate news publishers and posting hoaxes that get people to visit their sites, which are often mostly ads. "It's not a new phenomenon, and all of us - tech companies, media companies, newsrooms, teachers - have a responsibility to do our part in addressing it".

Fake news became a serious issue in the U.S. election campaign, when clearly fraudulent stories circulated on social media, potentially swaying some voters. "It could depend on individual organizations, but we want to engage responsibly and if that means a financial arrangement, we are very open to it". Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news. "We will continue working on this and we know we have more work to do".

The social network said it was taking steps to make it more hard for those posting fake news stories to purchase adverts on Facebook's platform.

The new feature will be available in 14 countries, including the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, the U.K., Philippines, Taiwan and Brazil.

  • Arturo Norris