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Facebook Works to Combat Fake News

Measures include the "About This Article" feature in your News Feed

Having trouble telling the difference between fake news and actual facts in your Facebook News Feed?

With all the recent controversy around what news is real and what news is fake, Facebook has introduced a new feature to help you tell the difference. It rolled out its new "About This Article" feature earlier this year as a way to provide more context about the news articles that show up in your News Feed.

What "About This Article" Reveals
The feature is easy to spot. As you scroll through posts in your News Feed, news articles will get a small "i" above and to the right of the headline. Tap on it, and you'll see additional information about the news article such as:

When any of this information isn't available, Facebook will state that explicitly. For example, Facebook will note if there's no Wikipedia page for the publisher of the article, which can be a valuable piece of context to know. After all, how credible can an article be if the company behind it lacks enough standing for a Wikipedia entry?

Facebook's Additional Measures
Facebook has taken other measures to help combat the spread of fake news in the U.S. It trained its algorithms to deprioritize fake news and clickbait as well as articles shared by individuals who post at extremely high frequencies. It also cut off fake news sites' ad revenue and blocked advertisements created by Pages that share misinformation. And it's ramping up use of third-party verification services for increased fact-checking on content published on the platform.

In a blog post, Facebook said, "We'll continue to listen to people's feedback and work with publishers to provide people easy access to the contextual information that helps people decide which stories to read, share, and trust, and to improve the experiences people have on Facebook."

QUICK TIP: If you believe a story in your News Feed is not real, report it. Click the three dots in the upper right hand corner and select "Give feedback on this post."

 

Do You Know How to Spot Fake News?

It's getting harder and harder to tell fake news stories from genuine ones. As the old saying goes, "Trust, but verify." Here are some tips you can use to judge for yourself whether the information (and its source) can be trusted:

Social media platforms are among the most effective channels for disseminating news broadly and quickly, but they can be a doubleedged sword. By empowering Facebook users to evaluate the credibility of the content that shows up in their News Feeds, the company is enlisting the Facebook community itself in the fight to stop fake news from spreading. While no method is foolproof, working together might be the strongest defense of all.