Facebook launching resource to help identify fake news
NEW YORK — Facebook is launching a resource to help you spot false news and misleading information that spreads on its service.
The resource, similar to previous efforts around privacy and security, is basically a notification that pops up for a few days. Clicking on it takes you to tips and other information on how to spot false news and what to do about it.
Tips to spot false news include looking closely at website addresses to see if they are trying to spoof real news sites, and checking websites’ “about” sections for more information. Some sites might look like real news at first glance, but their “about” sections inform the visitor that they are in fact satire.
Adam Mosseri, vice president of News Feed at Facebook, said he hopes people will become “more discerning consumers” of news. The new feature is part of a broader plan by Facebook to clamp down false news stories.
Facebook has been “working very hard to figure out how to get their arms wrapped around this,” said Lucy Dalglish, journalism dean at the University of Maryland.
“Facebook was always very interested in technology but not the social and civic implications of technology. It’s like they have become citizens.”
The company, for instance, is working with outside fact-checking and media organizations to identify false news as such. And once they are identified, Facebook is trying to dry up the “economic incentives” of false news sites by making it difficult for them to buy ads on Facebook.
Mosseri said most of the false news content on Facebook is from spammers trying to seek a profit and not, for example, political propaganda.
Facebook is working with outside organizations to identify false news, which it says is mostly from spammers.