Facebook warns of fake news danger ahead of British polls

Facebook has acted against tens of thousands of fake accounts in Britain after identifying patterns such as repeated posts of the same content.
Facebook has acted against tens of thousands of fake accounts in Britain after identifying patterns such as repeated posts of the same content.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Facebook has launched a British newspaper advertising campaign to warn users of the dangers of fake news, in the latest drive by the social media giant to tackle malicious information ahead of a national election.

With the headline "Tips for spotting false news", the advertisements in Britain listed 10 ways to identify whether a story was genuine or not. Facebook has come under intense pressure to tackle the spread of false stories, which came to prominence during the United States presidential election last year, when many inaccurate posts were widely shared on it and other social media services.

Ahead of the June 8 parliamentary election in Britain, it urged users to be sceptical of unbelievable-looking headlines, and to check other sources before sharing news that may not be credible.

The firm said it would also delete bogus profiles and stop promoting posts that show signs of being implausible.

"We have developed new ways to identify and remove fake accounts that might be spreading false news so that we get to the root of the problem," said Mr Simon Milner, Facebook's director of policy for the United Kingdom.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2017, with the headline 'Facebook warns of fake news danger ahead of British polls'. Print Edition | Subscribe