Facebook, Google Launch Efforts To Combat Fake News
Social media has become more than just a way to connect with friends and loved ones. It has become a platform of news sites as more and more publications use Facebook, Google, Twitter and even Instagram to spread their daily news stories.
However, not all news that spread across these platforms are real: some are fake, some are put for sheer publicity and some are even pegged as "alternative facts." Staining the name of good journalism, there had been many that lambasted these news sites, Facebook included, for not doing enough to curb the presence of these fake news stories during last year's U.S. presidential election and campaign, The Wall Street Journal reported. This year, they refuse to do the same with European countries heading into their own election campaigns, and their screening starts in France.
Facebook said to partner with eight French organizations to minimize the risk of fake news appearing on this platform. The world's largest social network is said to have 24 million users in the country: a third of its population.
However, to do this, they will have to rely on users to flag fake news so that the articles can be fact-checked. Any of those that are deemed fake by two partners will then be tagged with an icon that showed the facts presented are contested.
Reuters said that the social media giant is also supporting a separate initiative launched by Google that calls on users to submit contested links to a website so that it can be investigated. This project already has seventeen French newsrooms partnered, including AFP and the French Public National Television Broadcaster.
After France, the media platform will take the steps to fight fake news in Germany, where officials have already expressed concerns regarding false stories and hate speech online that could influence their own federal election in September, with chancellor Angela Merkel seeking to do her fourth term in office.