IN MY OPINION
Fake news are not new but just simply to be spread via the World Wide Web and here especially social media platforms. Actually since several months, I avoid reading and especially spreading news in Facebook. Good to know that Facebook to tackle fake news with educational campaign….
Users will be directed to Facebook’s help center where they can get detailed advice. Facebook is launching an educational tool as part of measures it is taking to counter fake news.
For three days, an ad will appear at the top of users’ news feeds linking to advice on “how to spot fake news” and report it. The campaign, which will be promoted in 14 countries, is “designed to help people become more discerning readers”, the social media firm said. These countries are Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Philip-pines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Myanmar (Burma), Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argen-tina,United States and Canada.
But experts ques-tioned whether the mea-sure would have any real impact. “Until Facebook stops rewarding the architects of fake news with huge traffic, this problem will just get worse,” Tom Felle, a lecturer in digital journalism at City University told the BBC. Starting Friday, April 7, 2017, users who click on Facebook’s ads will be redirected to its help center, where they will see a list of 10 tips for identifying false stories.
These include looking at an article’s URL, investigating the source of a story and thinking more critically about whether an article is a joke. It also recommends being “scep-tical of headlines”, as false news stories “often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points”.
Facebook’s new guide is a useful primer on the basic principles of good journalism. If all the millions who will see it popping up in their feeds read and digest it, maybe it will have an effect.
But it will only be there for three days and one has to suspect that it will be read in the main by people who are already suitably sceptical about hoaxes and propaganda. 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’ pre-judices.
What could be more effective is a German plan to combat hate speech and fake news that Facebook does not like one bit. German chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has just approved plans which could see social networks fined up to 50 million Euros if they fail to remove illegal con-tent within 24 hours.
However, critics also said the tool was just one part of a broader strategy, and that there was “no silver bullet”.
Indeed, in my opinion, Facebook should go further. One of the biggest problems with fake news is that the algorithms that run social media sites like Facebook and search engines such as Google are being gamed by black ops companies.
Facebook has been under pressure to combat fake news on its platform after claims it was used to sway voters during the US presidential campaign. Examples include a story that falsely claimed President Obama had banned the pledge of allegiance in US schools, and another fake news item, saying former presi-dential candidate Hillary Clinton was part of a paedophile ring. Facebook has since taken action to improve its monitoring and reporting processes.
Email: doringklaus@ gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin or visit my www.germanexpatnthephi lippines.blogspot.com or www.klaus doringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .