Accuracy in Media

Facebook, which has been under withering criticism for the amount of fake news spread by its users, announced on Thursday that they are adding an “educational tool” to help users spot fake news.

The announcement was made by Facebook news feed VP Adam Mosseri in a blog post:

“As part of our ongoing efforts, we’ve worked in consultation with First Draft, a non-profit dedicated to improving skills and standards in the reporting and sharing of information online, to roll out an educational tool to help people spot false news. We’re featuring this tool at the top of News Feed for a few days to people on Facebook in 14 countries.

When people click on this educational tool at the top of their News Feed, they will see more information and resources in the Facebook Help Center, including tips on how to spot false news, such as checking the URL of the site, investigating the source and looking for other reports on the topic.

News Feed is a place for authentic communication. Improving news literacy is a global priority, and we need to do our part to help people understand how to make decisions about which sources to trust.

False news runs counter to our mission to connect people with the stories they find meaningful. We will continue working on this and we know we have more work to do.”

Facebook has realized that fake news is too easily spread by it’s 1.86 billion monthly users, and it has been taking steps in recent months to try and combat it. In December the social media juggernaut announced that they were partnering with Snopes, Politifact, ABC News and FactCheck.org to help them spot fake news. That might have been just fine if they hadn’t chosen so many liberal leaning organizations to work with, making it appear that they blame conservatives for the fake news scourge plaguing its site.

Then it was announced this week that Facebook was helping to fund the News Integrity Initiative, which “will address the problems of misinformation, disinformation and the opportunities the internet provides to inform the public conversation in new ways,” according to Facebook’s head of news partnerships Campbell Brown.

These efforts are likely to have minimal impact on the spread of fake news. Even if you educate users on how to spot fake news, it is virtually impossible to stop it from spreading unless Facebook prevents any story deemed fake from being shared by its users. Even then, that won’t stop the production of fake news by those who profit from it. It will only stop when using Facebook and other social media platforms to spread fake news becomes unprofitable, and that would mean sacrificing precious ad dollars, which they are generally unwilling to do.





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Comments

  • Thomas Payne

    A political education tool – if it doesn’t fit the correct politics then the news is fake.

    The real problem is that many times big news does NOT know what the real story is when they start publishing. Worse the chief job of news outlets is often ensuring integrity of political views and political action plans – more than reporting events as they actually occurred. Hardly surprising.

    Which would you rather do for a job? shape the world? or passively repeat events?

  • Thomas Payne

    Survey says “the American people want 1st Amendment repealed in favor of a single unified official news outlet”. Because that allows a more unified, responsible and safer social environment for all who adhere to that path.

    Of course the polling agencies have always reflected the politics of their owners. Its pretty easy to shape loaded survey questions, select locations to target those asked to get the answers you want even before the biased analysis. Thus the expectation that there would be a Hillary landslide nationwide.

    Before being impressed by polls used by organizations — remember that those same polls or at least techniques are used by Madison Avenue marketers to sell you crappy merchandise. You are being sold again.

  • Thomas Payne

    Truth? The American people are too lazy (and disillusioned) to look for truth any more. They just want to be shown a shortcut to where the herd is moving (social safety in numbers) and to stampede to the political equivalent of free promotional giveaways.

    That includes the US economic world which desires that stability and supposed safety of a single party political system where policy is constant and unchanging — even when headed for disaster due to SIMPLE solutions that ignore important factors of the nation’s problem (insert either party here).

  • roger dodger

    I believe nothing that shows upon Facebook.
    I have been trying for 8 months to get my account deleted.
    If I were an advertiser, paying on the number of accounts they have, I woud demand an AUDit on the number of active accounts they have

  • Hickory Starr

    You can almost count of any news shown by Facebook as fake.

  • David S. McQueen

    Don Irvine declined to present us with a definitive example of “fake news” nor has he provided any guideline as to what exactly is “fake news”. Don implies that fake news is whatever Facebook says it is. VP Adam Mosseri writes that fake news is something evil and “we know we have more work to do”. Oh. OK. I have now exactly the same amount of information I had before I read the article.

  • Gay Phillips

    The groups they have hired are all leftist, so I suppose anything of conservative nature will be discounted. I will cease using Facebook immediately. The left is determined that we see no agenda other than theirs. Truth will always win in the end.