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Facebook is continuing its fight against fake news Facebook Wants You to Fix Its Fake News Problem Facebook Wants You to Fix Its Fake News Problem Facebook has a fake news problem in need of fixing. Unfortunately, determining real news from fake news is a tricky job. Which is why Facebook is asking its users to help fix the problem. Read More , with an advertising campaign in British newspapers. This switch to print media shows just how serious a problem Facebook considers fake news to be. The irony is that British newspapers aren’t exactly unbiased journals of record.

While British newspapers do some good work, most have clear political biases. For example, The Mail and The Express skew right-wing, while The Guardian and The Mirror skew left-wing. Still, this hasn’t deterred Facebook from launching a campaign against fake news in these very newspapers.

Tips for Spotting False News

In April, Facebook published a set of “tips for spotting false news”. These tips, which temporarily appeared at the top of people’s news feeds, offered common sense advice for determining what’s real and what’s fake Facebook Offers Tips to Help You Spot Fake News Facebook Offers Tips to Help You Spot Fake News While Facebook doesn't produce fake news, it's at least partly responsible for its dissemination. Which is why it's now offering tips to help you spot fake news before it spreads. Read More when it comes to news stories shared on Facebook.

However, fake news isn’t only shared on Facebook, or even just online. Print media is just as guilty of spreading misinformation. Which is why Facebook has now published those same “tips for spotting false news” in British newspapers including The Telegraph and The Times.

The timing of this ad blitz in newspapers is no coincidence. The UK is holding a General Election on June 8th which will determine who will run the country for the next five years. So, one month from decision day, Facebook is reminding people not to believe everything they read.

Simon Milner, Facebook’s UK director of policy, told BBC News, “People want to see accurate information on Facebook and so do we. To help people spot false news we are showing tips […] on how to identify if something they see is false.” The same rules obviously apply online and off.

The Fake News Phenomenon

This is an unusual step for Facebook to take. It makes perfect sense for the social network to teach its own users how to spot fake news What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? Fake news is plaguing the internet and the worst part is that most people can't recognize it when they see it. Read More on its own platform. However, it makes less sense for Facebook to educate newspaper readers to do the same. Still, it’s good advice we’d all do well to follow.

Can you spot fake news online or in printed media? Do you think the fake news phenomenon is being overblown? What do you think constitutes legitimate fake news? Does it have to be a made-up story? Or just biased reporting? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Cat Branchman via Flickr

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  1. Richard C. Millar
    May 10, 2017 at 4:55 am

    This Galaxy S8 would be great to win for me because of my eyes, the bigger - the better.

  2. ms
    May 8, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    The definition of fake news is the BBC

  3. Howard A Pearce
    May 8, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    For any site that claims to support the SPIRIT of freedom of the press or speech, it is close to fraud to take on the task of deciding for its users what if fake or not.

    Facebook has the right to do this, but claiming it supports the concept of freedom of the press and of speech to its users is another thing.

    It is also my understanding this comes right before the elections in the U.K. too! Just a coincidence ? Or is Facebook allowing politics to determine its choices and decisions.

    • Paul Darquin
      May 14, 2017 at 3:58 am

      It's one thing to take advantage of freedom of speech, but what use is the press or any news organization if you don't know which "news" stories you can believe, and which may be totally fabricated lies?

      In my view, freedom of the press means that they are free to tell the truth as opposed to being the puppet of any government or corporate direction. This should be your view as well. Anything else is not news, it is either fiction, or propaganda, neither of which should be peddled as news.