Business Essentials for Professionals


Ahead Of British Election, Warning Of Fake News Danger Sounded By Facebook

Ahead Of British Election, Warning Of Fake News Danger Sounded By Facebook
In what is the latest drive by the social media giant to tackle malicious information ahead of a national election, Facebook has launched a British newspaper advertising campaign to warn users of the dangers of fake news.
During the U.S. presidential election last year, there were many inaccurate posts on Facebook that were ultimately widely shared by the users on it as well as on other social media services and following that spate of incidents and a few others, Facebook has come under intense pressure from various quarters to tackle the spread of false stories and fake news.
Facebook, in the advertisements, urged the users in Britain to check other sources before sharing news that may not be credible and to be skeptical of headlines that look unbelievable, in the run up to the June 8 parliamentary election in the country. He largest social media platform said that it would stop promoting posts that show signs of being implausible and would also delete bogus profiles.
"We have developed new ways to identify and remove fake accounts that might be spreading false news so that we get to the root of the problem," said Simon Milner, Facebook's director of policy for the UK.
Following the pressure on the company, in the last few months, Facebook has expanded its attempts to crack down on automated profile pages that post commercial or political spam and has expanded campaigns to identify fake news. The latest effort in Britain essentially builds on the company's such recently efforts.
Facebook now makes use of outside fact-checkers in France as it had suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of the first round of its presidential election last month in the country. Previously, with the aim of educating readers on how to spot fake news, the company had also taken out full-page ads in German newspapers.
Including looking closely at a URL, investigating the source, looking for unusual formatting and considering the authenticity of the photo, the adverts by Facebook in Britain listed 10 ways to identify whether a story was genuine or not and very aptly, such advertisements came with the headline "Tips for spotting false news".
And after identifying patterns of activity such as whether the same content is being repeatedly posted, it had taken action against tens of thousands of fake accounts in Britain, Facebook said.
"With these changes, we expect we will also reduce the spread of material generated through inauthentic activity, including spam, misinformation, or other deceptive content that is often shared by creators of fake accounts," Facebook said.
And in Europe governments are threatening new laws and fines unless the companies move more quickly to remove extremist content and hence apart from Facebook, other social media sites including Twitter and YouTube are also facing pressure in the continent.
In order to speed up the removal of videos showing murder, suicide and other violent acts, Facebook has already hired more staff.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc