Facebook’s New Educational Tool to Tackle Fake News

Source: Creative Commons

I logged into my Facebook account this afternoon to find a link on top of my news feed that read: Tips to Spot Fake News.

I clicked on the link instantaneously, curious to read Facebook’s suggestions to tackle misinformation and to learn more about its efforts to battle fake news.

Here are the ten tips that popped up:

Source: Facebook — https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/04/a-new-educational-tool-against-misinformation

On further research, it became clear that these 10 tips serve not just as useful cues for readers to discern fake news from legitimate ones, but are also a part of the larger effort on part of Facebook to curb false news.

As per the company’s recent announcement, Facebook in partnership with First Draft, a non-profit devoted to improving skills and standards in the reporting and sharing of information online have worked to roll out an educational tool that will help Facebook users to spot fake news. Furthermore, this tool is to appear on top of the news feed for a few days to Facebook users in 14 countries (Which 14 countries is not specified).

In addition to the 10 tips to spot false news, the article detailed a step-by-step process through which Facebook users could report a news story which they felt was false.

Source: Facebook — https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/04/a-new-educational-tool-against-misinformation

News stories that are marked false by readers would thereafter be reviewed by independent third-party fact-checkers, and marked “disputed” if fact-checkers find it false as well.

And this is not it. If a Facebook user is about to share a news story which is marked disputed, he may see the prompt warning as shown below:

Source: Facebook — https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/04/a-new-educational-tool-against-misinformation/

As a media student and a media enthusiast, Facebook’s educational tools seems like a valuable beginning in the larger efforts to weed-out fake news. How do we know about the efficacy of these educational tools? That time will tell. For now, this is a good start.