Zuckerberg finally tackles the rise of fake news on social media
Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, finally decided to address the problem of fake news and launched a new education tool to help people spot and report it. Starting from today the campaign will be promoted in 14 different countries including the UK, the US, Germany and the Philippines. It will offers users tips and advice on how to spot fake news stories and prevent them from spreading.
But the educational banner will only be available for three days on people news feeds and most probably only the people already aware of the fake news problem will click on it and get educated. So the real impact of this new tool is very debatable.
When clicked, Facebook will lead you to their help centre where you can read a list of 10 tips for detecting false stories.
Picture credit: BBC news
The website encourage users to look at an article’s URL, investigate the source of a story and think more critically about whether an article seems believable or not. It also recommends being “sceptical of headlines”, as false news stories “often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points”.
Fake news on social media is a real problem nowadays. The awareness on the matter was raised after the Brexit and the US elections debacles. Even if Facebook doesn’t consider itself a news publisher, many people are using their social media profile for news gathering and tend to believe every story they find in there.
Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP of Product Management for News Feed stated that “False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust. 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.”
But what is Facebook really doing to fight the rise of fake news on social media? They announced the beginning of the educational campaign yesterday but it’s nowhere to be found on the platform.
A more effective alternative is the German plan to combat hate speech and fake news. The proposition that was just approved by Angela Merkel’s government project to fine social networks up to 50m euros (£43m) if they fail to remove illegal content within 24 hours.
Google is following Facebook’s footsteps and adding a new feature to their search engine to fight fake news. A new fact check tag will now appear in the search result.
Even if multimedia giants are taking a step forward in the fight against fake news, there is still no answer to the important questions on the matters. Who is really producing fake news and to blame for it’s publication on line and who decides what is fake or real news?
The campaign will be advertised in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- Myanmar (Burma)
- United States