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No More 'Fake News' on Facebook as Company Launches New Feature

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Facebook to educate users about fake news

On Thursday, the social media company said it is launching a new educational tool to take on inaccurate information.

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 has limited its definition of fake news to articles that set out to deceive, contain objectively provable falsehoods and pretend to be from a "legitimate" news site. The tool, similar to others around privacy and security, will be available to users in 14 countries, including the U.S. Users will see it for a few days when they open Facebook.

Hundreds of millions of Facebook users will be offered tips for spotting fake news as part of the social network's latest attempt to address concerns about its role in the spread of false information.

Check the evidence. Check the author's sources to confirm they are accurate.

"One of the solutions to fake news is that people do need to be asking questions of themselves and it is really helpful for Facebook to prompt people to do that", Will Moy, director of Full Fact, tells WIRED. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.

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Among the ten "tips", users are asked to consider whether the story might be a joke. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it could indicate that it is false. Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humor or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody, and whether the story's details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.

Some stories are intentionally false. "We would like to get to as many countries as possible".

So I'm not convinced that this will be seen as a game changer in the battle to make Facebook a place you go to find the truth, rather than wallow in your friends' prejudices.

In January, Facebook also launched what it called its Journalism Project, which proposed better collaboration with media organizations on the creation of new storytelling products, training and tools for journalists, and to promote news literacy and curb the spread of what it calls "news hoaxes".

By making fake news less popular on the social network, Facebook is seeking to reduce financial incentives for hoaxers by bringing them less web traffic, Mosseri said.

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